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Biography: Dr. Norman H. Tennent

Dr. Norman H. Tennent

Norman H. Tennent, a Scottish scholar and professor of chemistry of conservation and restoration at the University of Amsterdam, studied old restoration methods to repair vessel glass.

Dr. Tennent surveyed the historical development of glass repair materials and to record the long-term behavior of polymers used to restore glass objects.

"The prime focus of the project will be the study of glass repaired during the past half-century using polymer adhesives and gap-fillers,” he said. “Some old polymer-repaired [glasses] have yellowed badly; others have proved more durable. This project will therefore not only permit the historical evolution of restoration methods to be charted but also enable the durability of the polymer materials utilized to be studied.”

The range of old repairs will be recorded and photographed, and chemical analysis will be performed to identify adhesives that were not documented. Colors of aged adhesives and fill materials will be recorded using standard color charts and colorimetry.

“The study of long-term aging of past treatment materials will enable results of accelerated aging tests to be assessed and thus aid in the selection of new conservation materials,” Dr. Tennent explained.

Dr. Tennent earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Glasgow in 1974, and he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Ohio State University. As a conservation scientist, he has conducted research in museums and universities, served as a freelance consultant, and taught conservation courses in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States.