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Wholeo Dome Conservation - Comment from the forum

Here is a comment from the Stained Glass Forum on Yahoo, 23 January 2005. The response answered my posting of the need for Wholeo Dome conservation. I'm proud to reprint the comment and overjoyed that someone understands and cares and expresses it so well. I added links to documents referenced within (links are on the Wholeo Dome Conservation page too).

"Wow, Caroling!  That is fantastic!!!

"What a work of love and commitment!  What an experience!

"If I read this correctly you constructed the dome over a period of 7 years with no support apart from your commitment to truth in art.  The potential value of the experience was far greater than the sacrifice of years of your time, pain, lack of materials,  periods of disillusionment, exasperation, lack of funds, lack of architectural expertise, changing life roles, etc.


"I won't comment about the artistic importance of this piece, hopefully others will visit the Farm School and do that.  Caroling's main concern now is Conservation!  This dome was constructed in the day's when a friend wore his hair in a pony tail or wore a beard and head band.  This is a very important social document.  It attests to the commitment of the hippie/ counter culture movement of the era and is an important historical artefact.

"I suspect that many of the techniques that were used to construct both the dome and the glass work were experimental at the time.  It is paramount that these, perhaps sometimes unsuccessful or terminal mistakes are preserved.  There should be no releading or replacement here!  Caroling did this, let us see what she did and marvel at her pain and persistence and ingenuity and commitment.

"As no one has responded to my initial posting where I introduced the principles of conservation and the `Burra Charter', I don't know whether any body apart from Kathy, who is a good contributor to this forum,  has even bothered to look it up!  I don't even know whether there are similar American documents to the Burra Charter.  No one has told me!

"The first step in the conservation process should be a `statement of significance' prepared by someone with good knowledge of social/ architectural/ stained glass history.  Barbara Krueger comes to mind but there may be other more shy people who could do just as good a job, I don't know.  Barbara step in here.  Is this an important artefact?

"Next, a conservation plan needs to be prepared.  This will point out the problems that exist and the most important aspects of the piece to be conserved.  The positivism of the times, the hand of the artist, the naiveté of the aluminum construction, the commitment to truth as it was understood, the lack of knowledge of the electrolytic compatibility of lead and aluminum, whatever the findings are.

"Only then should a practitioner be called in and he/ she must positively demonstrate an understanding and commitment to the principles of conservation as laid out in the `Burra Charter' or similar documents.

"All these things aside, nothing will happen without funding.  Is this something the SGAA could fund?  Do you have a National Trust?  Are there state or federal funding bodies?  My God, Caroling has put in years of her life for this, somebody must take responsibility for the conservation of American history.

"Caroling it would be better to see your tour de force slowly rot into the ground than to be recreated in the the vision of some cowboy glazier. 

"I am very impressed!

"Good Luck!


"Geoffrey Wallace
Melbourne  Australia"

Used with permission from the author at the Yahoo group, the Stained Glass Forum at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stainedglassforum/. My reply indicated that The Farm people need to live with the dome and I personally welcome anyone willing to help conserve it. Another reply indicated that the SGAA has no funds for this kind of project. Donations can go to The Farm School in Summertown, Tennessee, a non-profit organization.

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