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Grant number: PG-252912-17

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University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0001)
Lydia Joffray (Project Director: May 2016 to present)

Gorgas House Museum Art and Paper Conservation Project

A conditions survey of the works of art on paper in the Gorgas House Collection dating from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, including early Dutch prints inherited by the Gorgas family, historic photographs of family members and the University of Alabama, and painted portraits of Gorgas and Gayle family members.  The collections provide interpretive material not only for the Gorgas family (General Josiah Gorgas served as the eighth president of the University), but also for the history of the University of Alabama, from the day it first opened, through its role as a military institution during the Civil War, to the days of the Civil Rights movement.  The collections also provide the foundation for the developing public history curriculum; the Gorgas House has increased its number of student volunteers, who dedicate more than 1,000 hours a semester to support the museum and its mission with interpretation and educational programming.

The Gorgas House Museum seeks a Preservation Assistance grant to hire a certified conservator to conduct an item by item assessment of paintings and other works on paper as recommended by the Collections Assessment Program. Conservator David Goist would conduct the assessment and provide a prioritized list for conservation. Goist will also present "Best Conservation is Prevention" Power Point to further the education of our stakeholders in conservation care. The Gorgas House Museum is the oldest structure on the University of Alabama campus (1829) and provides an important role in educating students in campus history, as well as providing them with a hands-on learning experience in public history and museum science. The artifacts in the Gorgas House feature furnishings from a 19th century Alabama family, but also features pieces connected to William Gorgas, Surgeon General of the United States Army, and eradicator of yellow fever during the construction of the Panama Canal.

Project fields:
Military History; Public History; Women's History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018