Museum Preserving the Urn
The sugar urn was donated to the Princeton University Art Museum in 1954 as part of a collection associated with the distinguished Boudinot family, some of whom lived in Princeton and were benefactors of the University. In 2004 it was cleaned, during which conservators removed residue and tarnish and covered its surface with a protective coating of ethyl methacrylate copolymer resin.
The urn is part of an ongoing “life-cycle analysis” conducted by a team of conservators, heritage professionals, and scientists. For the study, different facets of the object’s “life” in the Museum are examined, including transportation, crating, and packing, as well as display, lighting, and climate control. The goal of the project is to “make the invisible visible,” so that museum professionals can identify and choose more sustainable practices, including methods and materials with fewer risks to human and environmental health.