Victoria Gardner

Art History

Victoria Gardner has always had a keen interest in the preservation of global cultural history. Graduating in December 2022, she will pursue graduate studies in art restoration with an emphasis on objects. Victoria sees art history as the fundamental backbone to the preservation of humanity in its ability to express that which cannot be easily verbalized. She is also interested in leveraging her degree to create therapeutic spaces that would cater to her interest in working in nonprofit settings.

“Methods for the Conservation and Restoration of Moche Metallurgy”

Since its rediscovery in the 1980s, the pre-Columbian culture of Moche in Peru (1-800 CE) has attracted scholarly attention for its sophisticated metalwork. To date, art historical and archaeological research on Moche artifacts has focused on their artistic significance and socio-cultural implications. Despite the imperative need to conserve these significant but fragile artifacts, research on the material conservation of Moche artifacts remains scant in contrast to more robust scholarship on their socio-cultural dimensions. This project seeks to identify appropriate conservation and restoration techniques for Moche discoveries based on existing practices developed for comparable sites. This project will primarily focus on metalwork from Sípan, the believed northern capital of the Moche culture. By comparing un-restored Moche works with restored comparable works from other cultures, this thesis assesses the suitability of standard chemical restoration practices that use acetone, Rochelle salt baths, and diluted sulfuric acid baths, and well as more hazardous restoration practices such as electroplating for Moche metal artifacts. This project seeks to identify best methods for the conservation and restoration of Moche material culture. Even though Moche remains relatively unknown to the general public, ongoing research efforts by scholars across disciplines will contribute to a fuller understanding of the impact of Moche on Peruvian and world history.