Caligula: Extended Learning With Labs

Welcome to the VMFA Conservation Lab!

Here you will think like a conservator and experience, what the conservation process for Caligula was like. Within the virtual lab, you will be able to see the effects of solvents with adhesives on a marble tile.

An adhesive is a substance that allows two objects to be held together. Art conservators use adhesives like: gelatin, casein, fish glue, or wheat starch paste in order to restore piece. All adhesives must be reversible for future conservation practices.

As you proceed through the lab, keep in mind the effects certain types of glue have on an important object!


Let’s Begin!

Gelatin is the safest and most effective adhesive for this tile. The solvents used by future conservators must be able to safely remove the gelatin without harming the object! Discover below the best solvents.


Summary of Lab

Within this lab, you have successfully learned how to think, observe, and apply your new findings like a conservator. During Caligula’s conservation, conservators separated the head from the body in order to unravel the mystery of if the head and body were from a single block of marble. After finding they were of the same marble, conservators used adhesives to reattach the head to the body. The adhesives used are reversible for future conservation.


Explore More:

Who is Caligula?

Caligula: Conserving the Past

Caligula: Scientific Research of History

Caligula: Extended Learning with Labs

Caligula: A Look into Roman Art History

Caligula: Key Terms