Luis Seixas Art Conservator-restorer for the Brooks

What is your position at the Brooks?
I’m an art conservator-restorer presently as a volunteer at the Brooks Museum collection.

What do you work on day to day and what does it entail?
The work aim is to prevent collection objects degradation through conservation and stabilization actions. Mostly object surface cleaning and support consolidations.

Removal of adherent surface deposits by physical chemical means (by cotton swab). Church of Suceviţa Monastery, burial chamber. Romania, Suceava., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation-restoration

Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, Europe’s most western country.

What is your favorite part of your job at the museum?
The privilege of being so close to works of art. People are fine too, but art is something!

What is your favorite piece of art and why?
I really like medieval pieces. I love the human figure, the classical approach to design but with a spare placid tenderness. From the Brooks Museum it must be the St. Michael sculpture.

German ST. MICHAEL, ca. 1430-1460 Limewood, polychromed and gilded Memphis Brooks Museum of Art Purchase; funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Ben B. Carrick, Dr. and Mrs. Marcus W. Orr, Dr. and Mrs. William F. Outlan, Mr. and Mrs. Downing Pryor, Mr. and Mrs. Richard O. Wilson, Brooks League in memory of Margaret A. Tate 84.3

What do you like about Memphis?
I like the city quietness. Even for a big city there’s always place to park the car and has no insane traffic during the rush hour. We cannot have such things in Lisbon. The food is great and it is easy to make friends as well.

If you could travel cost free anywhere for one week, where would you go?
Well, that’s difficult to answer, probably to French Polynesia, just because we skipped it on our honeymoon. For us, those islands are literally on the other side of the world.

If you could meet any person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Jackson Pollock, definitively. He is my favorite artist along with Caravaggio. I just say no to Caravaggio due to his dangerous character, and my Italian it’s not so good…

Photographer Hans Namuth extensively documented Pollock's unique painting techniques., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Pollock

If you could be good at any subject, what would it be and why?
Aerospatial engineering I suppose. I love technology and cutting edge mechanical appliances. In the moment to choose, my heart spoke louder and I went to Arts University, otherwise I would become an engineer.

If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
I think it would be time traveling ability! Humanity has so many questions about the past. I have a couple of art technique doubts waiting for an answer. But if possible to do, I just want to do it as an observer. As bad as the past could be it is a legacy that must be assimilated. Besides that, through art the past looks evermore magnificent.

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