ABOUT THE PAPER CONSERVATION SECTION
The paper conservation section of McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory has been in operation since 1989 under the direction of senior paper conservator Gina McKay Lodge. Prior to 1989, Gina held the position of Acting Head of Paper Conservation at the Intermuseum Conservation Laboratory in Oberlin.
Through the expert work of her and her skilled paper conservation assistants in a modern and well-equipped facility at The Ohio Conservation Center™, hundreds of art works, documents, and objects made of paper have been successfully shepherded through sometimes challenging paper conservation treatments. During her long service as a paper conservator in Oberlin, Gina has treated works from the collections of almost every museum in Ohio and its surrounding states.
Gina brings knowledge and skills acquired from over 30 years of professional practice to her work in paper conservation in addition to holding a graduate degree in paper conservation and prior work as a paper conservation apprentice at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia.
The paper conservation facility has up-to-date equipment. It also has an unusually large collection of hand-made Japanese paper sheets of various weights acquired over many years of personal interest and collecting. These are critically important for use as lining papers to weakened paper art works. Many of these extremely light weight but strong long fiber papers were hand made by some of Japan’s Living National Treasures and are impossible to obtain today.
Paper conservation treatments can be tedious and time consuming. The paper conservation section makes every effort to tailor paper conservation treatments to affordability, for both museums and private collectors, by offering and explaining options and identifying the highest priorities.
Specific item services within the conservation of paper include:
Conservation of art on paper.
Conservation of documents.
Conservation of wall papers.
Conservation of paper based objects.
Specific services within the conservation of paper include:
Aqueous cleaning and deacidification treatments.
Light Bank treatments for the safe removal of paper discoloration.
Inserts for losses.
Stain removal by suction table and suction disk.
Flattening of distortions .
Archival hinging and matting.
Advice on display and storage.
A Small Home-Based Business
The company has been in business for over 25 years as an Ohio corporation. The company is owned wholly by Robert G. Lodge.
The company still has only two employees/officers: Robert Lodge (the owner and President) and his son Emmett Lodge (the corporation Secretary/Treasurer).
No persons outside of the family are employed in the home business. The business of the Oberlin area corporation is conservation services through contracting and projects management.
The two-employee company functions as a general contractor utilizing contracted conservation experts, assistants and others throughout the United States as its “staff” to accomplish the work of its services. All services and contracts are managed and overseen by Robert Lodge and performed by the company’s subcontractors. The core of the company’s “staff” are employees of Oberlin Conservation Associates, LLC, located at 9 West College Street in Oberlin, Ohio.
History of the Business
In 1989, Robert and Gina established the art conservation firm McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Laboratory, Inc. on their 50 acre farm property located 4 miles from downtown Oberlin and commenced practice in a new, purpose built 2,600 square foot building designed for paper and painting conservation.
This was a daring leap and one of considerable scale to make, having no clients at the outset, but they had reasons for their confidence.
They established the practice after leaving their positions of six years each at the Intermuseum Conservation Laboratory of the Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA), then a regional art conservation center located adjacent to the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. There, they were respectively the acting heads of the paintings and of the paper conservation departments.
The goal of the new company was to duplicate the art conservation services, research and educational programs of a regional conservation center but entirely through funding from earned services revenue – eliminating the dependency on grants and the expenses of the staffing and time to solicit such outside funding. Through hard work, success through respect earned for its high quality and efficient services, and through the high volume of services that its reputation made possible, it has achieved that goal. A significant part of the company’s mission beyond treatment services is self-funded ongoing research by staff, free dissemination of information to the public, education of our clients, training through student internship opportunities and pro bono services where warranted.
The company now works with a total core staff of ten members, of which six are specialty conservators, three conservation assistants and one officer manager. Of the 10 staff members, eight are the employees of Oberlin Conservation Associates, LLC (OCA). In addition, the company is a general contractor, accomplishing many of its larger projects through coordinating subcontracted trades and professionals beyond those of OCA.
During the previous 25 years of providing conservation services, the company has retained its initial focus on paper conservation and paintings conservation for regional museum and institutional fine arts collections. Yet over time, there has come a growing involvement in contract conservation for federal, state and local government collections. With additions of professional staff and substantial expansion of the facilities and equipment, it grew to be especially active and known in the conservation of architectural features, wall paintings and murals, mosaics, sculpture, outdoor sculpture, public art, monuments, metal artifacts and objects, and modern and historic fountains