Biltmore’s Conservation Team: Current Projects
Written By Joanne O'Sullivan
Biltmore’s conservation staff undertakes conservation and preservation activities including examination, technical analysis, documentation (written and photographic), conservation and preservation related research, and conservation treatment of Biltmore collection objects.
The photo above shows our team working to catalog and store the almost 4,000 pieces of china and glassware in the Butler’s Pantry in Biltmore House. Most plates are stored in stacks, but some are too fragile and would crack from the weight of the other plates. Biltmore’s conservation team developed a system for storing the plates and using archival foam blocks to prevent damage.
Here are a few more of their current projects…
Conservators Anne Battram, Nancy Rosebrock, and Genvieve Bieniosek are treating the 67 Banquet Hall chairs, one at a time. The seats are stuffed with the original Spanish moss, plant material, and unidentified animal hair, all of which will be returned to the seat before it’s covered in fabric that is an exact reproduction of the original. The project will take more than two years to complete.
This ivory figurine is tucked in display case on the Second Floor that can sometimes go unnoticed by guests. While in the Objects Lab recently, our conservators were able to get some detailed images and take a peek inside.
On the desk of Objects Conservator Renee Jolly: These switchplates were pulled from storage in the sub-basement of Biltmore House. Renee is in the process of evaluating the original hardware throughout the house and researching the original materials and appearances.
Call buttons from obsolete switchplates throughout Biltmore House.