I fact-checked my own letter and found a slight error. It was not 1960, it was 1958 when I started in sculpture. So we were taught to harm ourselves with molten lead exactly 60 years ago. The teacher was Austrian sculptor Leo Steppat, which means he and Kiefer have played in the same sand box. There is nothing creative or new about this Kiefer crap.
From: DCHAS Membership Chair <membership**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Sent: Mon, Feb 5, 2018 7:06 am
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Reminder about the hazards of Lead Sculpture Technique
From: Monona Rossol <actsnyc**At_Symbol_Here**cs.com>
Re: CBS morning show-Anselm Kiefer
I hope some of you saw CBS Morning and the segment on Anselm Kiefer who was melting lead and hurling at canvases, and more. I wrote the following to CBS news, but since that is similar to a dropping a message in a black hole, here is what I wrote:
In the early 1960s, I was taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to make dripped-lead sculpture by melting lead. That was way before we knew better. And way before laws were passed prohibiting use of lead in any workplace, including schools, without a written OSHA program, monitoring, protective gear and worker training.
My experience with acute lead poisoning as a sculpture student was one of the motivations for me to become a chemist/industrial hygienist with a specialty in art. But common sense should have told Jane Pauley and any reporter who had ever worked on a story about lead paint, lead in children=E2=80™s toys, lead in water, or any similar story, that Kiefer's work would expose the artist and anyone working or observing in that studio to lead.
Since today I am also the Safety Officer for some of your IATSE workers and the Safety Consultant for SAG-AFTRA, I have met some of the qualified safety people that work at CBS that could have explained to you the hazards of melting lead and the laws that apply. Yet it appears that neither Jane Pauley nor the woman reporter in Anselm Kiefer's studio, or any of your fact checkers, even asked for an assessment of this hazard.
Worse, CBS provided not a word of warning to art students, professional artists, or teachers, some of whom are going to try this same thing. Just shame on you all.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President: Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
Safety Consultant: SAG-AFTRA
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012 212-777-0062
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