Weitzman School of Design

The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design prepares students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, we are committed to advancing the public good–both locally and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation. 

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
  • Publication
    All Things Useful and Ornamental: A Praxis-based Model for Conservation Education
    (2007-11-01) Matero, Frank G
    Since its emergence in the twentieth century as a discreet field combining intellectual inquiry and applied knowledge, the conservation of historic and artistic works has developed into a distinct professionally defined discipline.(1) In both concept and practice, conservation has as its fundamental objective the protection of cultural property from loss and depletion. As such it is concerned primarily with the physical well-being of cultural and historical resources by observing and analyzing their form, production, and meanings; conducting investigations to determine the cause and effect of deterioration; and directing remedial and preventive interventions focused on maintaining the integrity and survival of the resource. This does not assume a priori a singular dedication to the physical fabric alone but rather to the entire resource including the associated intangible qualities thus bringing the conservation process back into the social realm of people, places and things.
  • Publication
    Exploring conservation strategies for ancestral puebloan sites
    (2003-01-01) Matero, Frank G
    In the American Southwest, indigenous pueblo cultures are a vital part of the region's contemporary mosaic of ethnic diversity. This is especially evident through their long-standing relationship to the land and landscape as reflected in the continuity of place for all pueblo communities and the countless number of ancestral sites that figure prominently in contemporary beliefs and practices. Recently many such sites have gained federal recognition and legal protection as archaeological and traditional cultural sites, yet stabilization, protection, use and interpretation of these sites according to existing theories and models of conservation have proven to be difficult. Based on the recognition that such places remain critical to the continuing identity of Native peoples and that many of these sites are simultaneously visited and enjoyed by the public, their preservation and respectful management have become a relevant, timely and sometimes controversial issue. Beginning in 1997 the University of Pennsylvania, the National Park Service and San Ildefonso Pueblo inaugurated an integrated research and training programme focused on the conservation and management of Tsankawi (New Mexico), an ancestral puebloan mesa site of great cultural and archaeological significance. The project afforded a critical examination of the theoretical and ethical issues surrounding the preservation and management of ancestral archaeological sites and the technical methods required for their stabilization and interpretation as cultural landscapes. Professionals, students and pueblo affiliates engaged in documentation, condition survey and preservation treatments of the ancient tuff rock trails and pueblo structures. From this effort, a strategic conservation plan was developed and its initial implementation explored through an annual training programme involving pueblo and university interns as well as professional archaeologists and cultural resource managers.
  • Publication
    A Diagnostic Study and Treatment Evaluation for the Cleaning of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial
    (1984) Matero, Frank G
    To commemorate the naval victory of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the War of 1812, a monument known as Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was planned and erected on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. Begun in 1912 in the centennial year of Perry's victorious battle, the winning design was a massive Doric column of granite and concrete set in a stepped plaza. Completed in 1915, the memorial remains the largest Doric column actually built. In August of 1981, a conservation study of the memorial column was conducted by the North Atlantic Historic Preservation Center, National Park Service, to evaluate potential techniques for the cleaning of the exterior granite surfaces and to provide information for long-term monitoring of the ambient and internal wall conditions of the column. In order to achieve these goals, an evaluation program was developed based on archival research, field testing, and laboratory analysis for the selection of the most appropriate cleaning and monitoring methods.
  • Publication
    Managing Change: The Role of Documentation and Condition Survey at Mesa Verde National Park
    (2003-03-01) Matero, Frank G
    The approximately 600 cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado represent the apex of architectural sophistication of the Northern San Juan Ancestral Puebloan culture. The cliff dwellings, the final product of 600 years of cultural development on the Mesa Verde, were built between A.D. 1200 and 1300, and were abandoned shortly thereafter. The spectacular setting and the well-preserved state of these masonry structures and their surface finishes resulted in Mesa Verde's being the first nomination by the U.S. government to the World Cultural Heritage Sites List. Moreover, descendants of these ancient peoples, the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, continue to venerate these sites, representing a cultural continuity unique for North America. Excavation and preservation have been continuous since Mesa Verde became one of the first national parks in 1906. The structures interpreted to the public have been preserved over the years with a minimum of repair and replacement, resulting in a cultural resource of great integrity and authenticity. A phased conservation program to develop coordinated methods for the survey, analysis, stabilization, and interpretation of the masonry and prehistoric surface finishes in the alcovate (cliff-dwelling) sites of Mesa Verde National Park has been in progress since 1994 by the Architectural Conservation Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania. The program has included a comprehensive method of study, including archival research, technical analysis, and characterization of the architectural materials; detailed field and digital recording of existing conditions, including environmental monitoring; and the design, testing, and execution of a treatment and protection program specifically focused on the in situ stabilization of plain and painted architectural surface finishes. Though case-study oriented, this article addresses in detail the theoretical and technical aspects of condition survey and recording as an important vehicle for material and site diagnostics, which must precede remedial and preventive interventions. Detailed information is provided on the use of current digital technology for condition survey.
  • Publication
    Survey Methodology for the Preservation of Historic Burial Grounds and Cemeteries
    (2003-01-01) Matero, Frank G; Peters, Judy
    An integrated program of digital surveying and mapping can provide a powerful database for the analysis, conservation, and management of historic burial grounds and cemeteries.
  • Publication
    The Conservation of Immovable Cultural Property: Ethical and Practical Dilemmas
    (1993-03-01) Matero, Frank G
    The conservation of immovable cultural property-outdoor monuments, buildings, archaeological sites, and landscapes-is a relatively recent profession, yet one that has grown out of earlier 19th-century restoration theories. Although part of the broader conservation context, architectural conservation presents unique problems due to the issues of context, immobility, size, scale, and complexity of use and materials. These issues are examined with respect to established standards for the examination, documentation, and treatment of traditional historic and artistic works.
  • Publication
    An Approach to the Evaluation of Cleaning Methods for Unglazed Architectural Terracotta in the USA
    (1994-09-01) Matero, Frank G; Bede, ElizaBeth A; Tagle, Alberto
    The safe and effective removal of disfiguring atmospheric soiling from brick and unglazed architectural terra cotta is a problem well known to building specialists. While limited research has been conducted on the study and repair of glazed architectural ceramics, very little recent work has addressed the characterisation and analysis of unglazed architectural terracotta, the physicochemical nature of soiling mechanisms, or the short- and long-term effects of commercial cleaning methods currently employed. In addition, an over-emphasis on cleaning efficacy, along with the meteoric rise in the availability of untested chemical and mechanical cleaning systems, has led to the disfigurement and surface damage of many terracotta buildings, permanently altering the visual and protective qualities of the material and potentially jeorardising the overall weatherability and performance of each building's skin.
  • Publication
    A Rare Example of Early Nineteenth Century Trompe L'oeil Decoration: The Octagonal Reception Room at Telfair Mansion, Savannah, Georgia
    (1983) Matero, Frank G
    In the spring of 1981, an architectural investigation of the "Octagon Room" at the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences in Savannah, Georgia was conducted in order to determine the room's original architectural decoration. Guided only by a few tantalizing clues found in the late nineteenth century plans for the building's renovation, the urbane sophistication and complexity of the room's original ca. 1819 design became apparent after a careful analysis of the architectural fabric (Fig. 1, 2).
  • Publication
    Loss, Compensation, and Authenticity: The Contribution of Cesare Brandi to Architectural Conservation in America
    (2007-07-01) Matero, Frank G
    International consideration of the contribution of Cesare Brandi to modern conservation theory has been needed for a very long time. In the realm of conservation discourse in America and probably for much of the English-speaking world, Brandi's words and concepts have been largely absent and, if acknowledged at all, often lost to translation. This can be attributed to the lack of an English version of his 1963 Teoria del Restauro [Theory of Restoration] until the first excerpts were published in 1996, with an accompanying editorial, in the Getty Conservation Institute's anthology of readings on conservation. That is not to say that Brandi's ideas were unknown, at least to some architectural conservation professionals and academics in the United States who encountered his theories through the lectures and translated excerpts of his writings at ICCROM, by its then Director-General, Paul Philippot.
  • Publication
    Placemaking on the Northern Rio Grande A View from Kuaua Pueblo
    (2008-10-01) Preucel, Robert; Matero, Frank G