JP Brown

Regenstein Conservator

Gantz Family Collections Center

JP Brown graduated in Archaeological Conservation in 1986 and worked on the conservation of objects in England for two years before joining the faculty of the University of Wales at Cardiff.  He taught practical and preventive conservation at UWC until 1993 when he moved to the States to work as a consultant on the conservation of historic buildings including Independence Hall, the George Washington Mansion, and Virginia State Capitol. 
In 2002 JP joined the staff of the Field Museum working successively on micro-environmental control for preservation of collections, the move of oversize material to the CRC, and the conservation of the Kish excavation archive.  He was appointed Regenstein Conservator in 2009 and works on the conservation of collections from the Pacific.
JP's research interests encompass object conservation methods, computer-based object documentation, preventive conservation, and the non-destructive analysis of structures and materials.  His work on CT scanning and 3D printing of museum collections has been featured in exhibits at the Field Museum and the Oriental Institute.  His work with Field Museum Anthropology curators Gary Feinman and Ryan Williams on the origins of the mysterious Maya Blue pigment was picked by Archaeology Magazine as one of the top ten archaeological discoveries of 2008.### EDUCATION

University of Chicago, Dept of Physical Sciences, Chicago, IL (2005). MS Computer Science.
University College Cardiff, Dept of Archaeology, Cardiff, UK (1986). BSc (Hons.) Archaeological Conservation. Subsids: Metallurgy & Materials Science, Computer Science & Statistics.


2002-present    Conservator, Department of Anthropology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL.  PI for IMLS-funded Archaeological Metals Project.  Lead preventive conservator for passive and active climate control (Collections Resource Center, Archaeological Metals Project, Brooker Gallery, Pacific Spirits retrofit, Ancient Americas, Nature Unleashed).  Conservator for CRC Oversize move. Conservator for Iraqi Kish Project.  Secured $150,000 donation of computed x-ray equipment from Kodak/Carestream.  PACS administrator for Anthropology computed x-ray  system.  Collections database administrator for Conservation section.  Department of Anthropology lead user for: SEM/EDS, FTIR, Computed Radiography, Digital Radiography, and Computed Tomography.  Taught the following Iraqi Heritage Project courses 2009-10: chemistry, preventive conservation, conservation of ceramics and glass, conservation of metals, photography, x-radiography, SEM/EDS.  CT scanned nine Egyptian mummies, a seven foot long temple drum, a rambaramp, fourteen Peruvian mummies, forty animal mummies, thirty two musical instruments, and a variety of other archaeological, ethnographic, and fossil materials.

1993-2002     Consultant Environmental Conservator, Chicago, IL.  Design and installation of computer-based monitoring systems to quantify moisture problems and humidity performance of historic buildings.  The work combined historical research, architectural drafting, bid preparation, budget negotiation and control, on-site work as a consultant to specialized architectural teams, design and programming of computer-based data acquisition systems.  Clients included: Virginia State Capitol, Richmond VA (Client: VA State Legislature / Architects: The Hillier Group); Minnesota State Capitol, St Paul, MN (Client: Minnesota State Legislature / Architects: Miller-Dunwiddie); Anderson Cottage (Abraham Lincoln's summer residence), Washington, DC (Client: National Trust / Architects: Hillier Group); Alton Mental Health Center, Alton, IL  (Client: Illinois Capital Development Board); Mount Vernon, VA (Client: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association); Oldfields Mansion (Eli Lilley summer residence), Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN (Client: Indianapolis Museum of Art / Architects: Hillier Group);  Independence Hall, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA, USA (Client: US National Park Service / Architects: Vitetta Group) The Newseum, Washington, DC, USA (Client: the Freedom Forum / Lead Contractor: Art Preservation Services); William Floyd residence, William Floyd Estate, Fire Island National Seashore, Long Island (Client: US National Park Service / Lead Contractor: Art Preservation Services).

1988-93            Demonstrator in Archaeological Conservation, University of Wales, Cardiff, UK. Taught the following undergraduate courses: practical conservation; preventive conservation; on-site lifting;  instrumental techniques; computers in archaeology; gap-filling, casting and replication.  Participated in on-site conservation of lifting and conservation of fragile archaeological organics and wall-paintings.

1987-88            Assistant Conservator, Yorkshire and Humberside Museums Council, Doncaster, UK. Conservation of archaeological and historic metals.

1986                  Contract Conservator, Jorvik Viking Centre, York, UK.  Conservation of Viking timber buildings.


JP Brown & RD Martin, 'Putting our heads together - a "real virtual" restoration of a previously restored Magdalenian era skull', Tomography for Scientifc Advancement, Natural History Museum, London, UK. 2013.

JP Brown, 'Disaster response & salvage wheel', CCA Workshop, Chicago, IL, USA. 2012.

JP Brown, 'Medical computed X-ray tomography and volumetric reconstruction for the technical examination of organic/composite and ceramic objects', AIC Annual Meeting, RATS Session, Philadelphia, PA, USA. 2011.

JP Brown, 'Environmental measurement 101', CCA Workshop, Chicago, IL, USA. 2010.

JP Brown, 'The Field Museum Archaeological Metals Project: distributed, in situ micro-environments for the preservation of unstable archaeological metals using Escal barrier film'.  AIC Annual Meeting, OSG Session, Milwaukee, WI. 2010.

S Fishman-Armstrong, S Sengoz, JP Brown & J King,  'Bar coding and radio frequency identification for collections management', AAM Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, USA. 2010.

J Cuno, F Cascadio, JP Brown, M Greuel, M Vannier & L D’Alessandro, ‘Molecular to Monumental: Rediscovering Lost Cultures from the Inside Out’, CST, Chicago , IL , USA. 2009.

JP Brown, D Nguyen & J Johnson, ‘Building an acceptable conservation module’, KE-EMu North American Users Group Meeting, New York Botanical Gardens NY, USA.2007.

JP Brown & WJ Pestle, ‘Opportunities and limitations of medical CT scanning for the examination of museum objects’, Andrew A Mellon Symposium Series for  Conservation Science: Three-Dimensional Imaging of Museum Artifacts. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL, USA. 2006.

JP Brown, ‘Techniques and conservation of Asian metalwork: prehistory to the 17 century’, NEH-funded Workshop. Center for Burma Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb IL, USA, 2006.

JP Brown, WB Rose & RA Jones, ‘The performance of historic building envelopes’, Two-day for-credit workshop at APT 2006, Halifax NS, Canada, 2005.

JP Brown, ‘Monitoring historic buildings: self-evident truths from Independence Hall’, Building Science Symposium. Boston , MA, USA, 1998.

JP Brown & WB Rose, ‘Environmental monitoring for historic buildings: acquisition, analysis and archive’, APT97, Chicago IL, USA,1997.

JP Brown, A Zhivov & W Esposito, 'New specifications for museum IAQ', Indoor Air '96, Nagoya, Japan, ISIAQ,1996.

JP Brown, A Zhivov & W Esposito, ‘Why do we need indoor air quality guidelines for museums?’, ISIAQ Specialty Section, Indoor Air '95, Oslo, Norway.1995.

JP Brown, 'Computer-based information sources for conservators', One day meeting of Conservators in Wales, St Fagans Social History Museum, Cardiff, UK,1993.

JP Brown, ‘The importance of the idea - concepts of the Museum and the implications for museum design’, IIC-CG Training Workshop on Museum Architecture & Conservation, Québec, Canada,1990.


L Yao, JP Brown, M Stampanoni, F Marone, K Isler & RD Martin, 'Evolutionary change in the brain size of bats', Brain Behavior & Evolution, 80 (2012), 15-25.

CA Pelizzari, CR Haney, R Balleul-LeSeur, JP Brown & C Weitholt, 'Challenges in CT scanning of avian mummies.' in: Between Heaven and Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt edited by Rozenn Balleul-LeSeur, Oriental Institute Museum Publications 35.  (Chicago, IL: Oriental
Institute of the University of Chicago), 109-118.

DE Arnold, J Branden, G Feinman, PR Williams & JP Brown 'La primera evidencia de produccion de azul Maya: Redescubriendo una tecnologia mesoamericana olvidada', Mesoamerica Debates y Perspectivas. (Mexico: Colegio de Michoacan, 2011)

DE Arnold, JR Branden, PR Williams, G Feinman & JP Brown, ‘The first direct evidence for the production of Maya Blue: rediscovery of a technology’, Antiquity, 82/315 (2008), 151-164.

JP Brown, M Eissenberg & W Brookover,  ‘Museums in historic buildings: a case study at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA using digital controls to balance conservation needs of collections and historic building fabric’, in ASHRAE  IAQ  2001, (Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE, 2002).

JP Brown & WB Rose, ‘Humidity and moisture in historic buildings: the origins of building and object conservation’, APT Bulletin, 27 / 3 (1996), 12-24.

JP Brown,  ‘Hygrometric measurement in museums: calibration, accuracy, and the specification of relative humidity’, in IIC Congress on Preventive Conservation, Ottawa, ed. Ashok Roy & Perry Smith (London: IIC, 1994), 39-44.

D Watkinson & JP Brown, ‘The conservation of the polychrome wooden sarcophagus of Praise Mut’, in Conservation of Egyptian Materials II, ed. Carol Brown, (London: UKIC, 1994), 37-46.

JP Brown, Conservation Research in the UK 1993(London: Museums & Galleries Commission Conservation Unit, 1993).

JP Brown, ‘What can psychrometric data tell us?’, in Electronic Environmental Monitoring in Museums, ed. RE Child (Denbigh: Archetype Publications, 1993), 37-59.

JP Brown, Conservation Scientists' Group Survey of Current Research in Conservation, (Cardiff: UWCC, 1992).

JP Brown, ‘Hexcelite as a replacement for AJK/BJK dough’, Conservation News, 40 (1989), 11-12.

JP Brown, ‘Low humidity environmental control’, in Environmental Monitoring and Control, ed. Graeme Scott (Edinburgh: Museums Association / Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration, 1989), 88-90.

JP Brown, ‘Putting the Museum back into museum design’, in Environmental Monitoring and Control, ed. Graeme Scott (Edinburgh: Museums Association / Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration, 1989), 94-102.