Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Room Share for Upcoming AIC Annual Meeting

To help defray some of the costs of the upcoming AIC Annual Meeting in May, it was recently suggested in our ECPN conference call that ECPN members may want to share hotel rooms. I will be collecting names and information of people who would like to participate in the room share. This year accommodations will be at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza (the meeting site), with room rates at $185.00 for a single/double and $210.00 for a triple/quad (maximum 2 people per double room and 4 people per room in a triple/quad).

In order to participate in the room share, you need to be registered for the AIC Annual Meeting (this is in order to receive the AIC Rate). The AIC Rate is valid until April 27, 2009, or until the contracted room block has sold out. The Hyatt's cancellation policy states that on April 1, 2009, the hotel will charge a one-night stay deposit, so all cancellations will need to be received by April 1, 2009 to allow for another AIC Meeting participant to enjoy the room at the AIC Rate. Therefore, if you would like to participate in the room share, please send me your information by February 13, 2009.

I will make every attempt to match people with another ECPN member and according to the specifications that you send. If you are unable to be matched due to the lack of another person with your room specifications, or due to an odd number of people willing to participate, I will let you know as soon as possible, and no later than February 27, 2009.

Please note that by participating in the room share, you understand I am matching potential roommates only. Once a match is found, I will send you and your potential roommate(s) your respective information. If this is not a suitable match to all parties, let me know as soon as possible and before the February 13th deadline.

Once you agree to your match, it will be yours and your roommate's responsibility to make your room reservations and pay for your room. Any reservations that you make will be in accordance with the Hyatt's policies. If you or your roommate(s) decide not to attend the meeting before the February 13th deadline, I will make every attempt to match you with another person. However, this cannot be guaranteed, so it is important that all parties be committed to attending the Annual Meeting!

If you would like to participate, please send the following information to Nicky DeFreece Emery via e-mail.

Your name
Your e-mail address
Your telephone number
Gender (sorry, I will only match same gender)
Preference of double (1 roommate + you) or quad room (3 roommates + you)
Special room needs (ADA accessible room, etc.)
Specific dates you will need a room
If you are currently registered for the AIC Annual Meeting
Best way to contact you during the Annual Meeting

Please send your information to BOTH of the following e-mail addresses: shnicky2@yahoo.com AND shnicky2@gmail.com

Thanks, and see you in LA!

Nicky DeFreece Emery

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays from ECPN!

With the holidays looming and productivity gently declining, I thought that I would take a break from our usual subjects to provide some conservation related diversions.

Because People Have a Need to Glue Things to Other Things

For me, holidays are usually preceded by a stream of questions from friends and family on how to repair their beloved ornaments/keepsakes/doo-dads.  Some objects are worth some quality conservation work, but for many I send my family to www.thistothat.com.  Definitely not archival and certainly not to our highest conservation standards, but when it comes to fixing everyday objects it can be very handy.  And for the same low level of “How do I clean my….?” take a peak at www.HowtoCleanStuff.net .  Some cringe-worthy suggestions (the discussion on cleaning oil paintings is downright hard to read) but there are also some good basic household cleaning tips.

Pocket Conservator

 better yet; in response to all those conservation related questions why not just give your loved one their very own paper conservator?  You can find a make your own conservator at http://www.luzrasante.com/la-conservacion-un-juego-de-ninos (pattern courtesy of the Institut Valencià de Conservació i Restauració de Béns Culturals). 

And what better tools to give your pint-sized paper conservator than Jeff Peachey’s set of miniature bookbinding tools?

(http://jeffpeachey.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/mini-tools.jpg )

They are actually just the right size for your new tiny worker.

A Must Read Conservation Journal

As an Emerging Conservator I try to stay updated on new research and publications but somehow missed this one until it was brought to my attention a few weeks ago. What The Onion does for news, Recent Setbacks in Conservation does for professional conservation research.


For the Visual Thinkers

As many conservators are also visual thinkers, check out the web comic Indexed at http://thisisindexed.com/.  While not directly related to art conservation, Venn diagrams and bar charts were never so funny. 

Beware of the Yellow (Milliput®) Snow

 finally, I leave you with a warning on the use of aged materials.  Last year Laura Brill made this lovely little 2.5” snowman of extra Milliput®.  It was lovingly crafted complete with buttons, top hat, pipe and bamboo skewer arms.  Sadly the Milliput® used was very old and even after a year of curing Frosty is still soft and tacky as well as having turned this ugly shade of yellow.  Further research is required but preliminary study suggests this aged Milliput® would be a poor material for use with artifacts.

From the wintery wonderland of Shelburne Vermont I wish very happy holidays to you and yours!

-Rachel Penniman

Rachel Penniman is currently an Advanced Conservation Intern at the Shelburne Museum, but will be taking a new position in January as objects conservator at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ning Social Network

In addition to this blog and the listserve (aic-emerging@lists.stanford.edu), we are testing out a new social networking tool called Ning.

We have already started at network for the Emerging Conservation Professionals Network, which you can go through the link below:


A few of you are already members. As for the rest of you, please check it out, and let me know how you like it at rwinfield@aic-faic.org

-Ryan Winfield

Conference Call Notes - 12.18.08

Here are the things we discussed during the conference call today:

1) Leadership Structure - we have begun a discussion about a leadership structure the group should take. It should take on similar structure as other AIC committees and task forces: chair, co-chair, secretary, communications liaison. A formal call for nominations will go out in January with an election in February, which will give us enough time to bring in leadership before the 2009 Annual Meeting in May.

2). Winter Happy Hour - We will have our first happy hour in NYC on the evening January 25. This will be in conjunction with some other conservation-related events happening in NYC that weekend. Brooke Young is organizing this event for us. More information on this later. Until then, you can contact her at brookewy1@gmail.com.

3) 2009 Annual Meeting - Roommate Referral Program: We will assist people in finding roommates to help defray the cost of housing during the week of annual meeting. Nicky DeFreece Emery is heading up this effort. For more information, contact her at shnicky2@yahoo.com

4) 2009 Annual Meeting - Angel's Project : Members of the ECPN are going to be heading up this project this year. Amber Kerr-Allison suggested we might work with the Rescue Public Murals program at Heritage Preservation to locate a project site. Molly Gleeson is working with Paul Messier, an AIC Board Member, on this.

5) 2009 Annual Meeting - Poster : There will be a poster at the 2009 Annual Meeting. A conference call will happen in January on this. Laura Brill and Nick Emery are heading this up.

We look forward to hearing from all of you at the next conference call on Thursday, January 15th @ 1:00 PM.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

There is an interesting pamphlet from the UK called It's A Material World: Caring for the Public Realm.  It is an interesting read, and free to download. It also discusses conservation training. 

 It's A Material World

Caring For The Public Realm

"What parts of our culture do we value and want to protect? This pamphlet explores the future of heritage conservation, and why to survive it must involve everyone.

The choice of what things to conserve and how to conserve them simultaneously reflects and creates social value. This pamphlet demonstrates the social value of caring for the material world, and highlights the importance of conservation as being integral not only to the culture and heritage sector but also to social well-being.

How things are kept and cared for demonstrates their significance not just as objects, buildings or landscapes, but in terms of how much value we place on them. Conservation sustains and refreshes the values of the past – giving us an understanding of where we have come from – and reflects values for the present and the future.

In addition to providing recommendations for conservators, this pamphlet calls for action from policymakers, cultural professionals and the public as well. All of these groups have an interest in conservation and caring for the material world, and they all have a part to play in connecting conservation to some of the major challenges we face as a society, both in the UK and internationally. Caring for the material world is an essential part of the maintenance of our public realm. It is rooted in the profession of conservation. We need both to protect that profession, and put the values of conservation at the heart of policy thinking."

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements 8
Foreword 9
Prologue 13
Executive summary 15
1 Caring for the material world 21
2 Conservation and its values 27
3 The UK conservation sector 31
4 Conservation under threat 41
5 The current contribution of conservation 51
6 A crisis for conservation education? 59
7 Conservation and the wider world 69
8 Projecting a spectrum of conservation 77
9 Building capital from interest 83
10 Conclusions and recommendations 95
1 Methodology 103
2 Organisations consulted 105
Notes 107
References 117

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mentoring Program Update

Angie Elliott and Anne Simon wanted to update all of you on the progress of the Mentoring Program. We have outlined several goals and discussed ideas with other members of the ECPN and the AIC staff.
  • One of our aims is to be inclusive, recognizing that no two paths are identical when developing a career in conservation.
  • We want this program to foster professional relationships between practicing conservators and those who want to enter into the field.
  • Conservators will be able to share their knowledge with up and coming professionals and create an ongoing dialogue between individuals at different stages in their careers.

At this point we have drafted forms that will be filled out by interested participants of the program. The forms will act as a preliminary guideline to match the needs of the mentee with the experience of the mentor. Sometime this spring, the AIC website will have a place to download those forms. More information about the program, including goals and operation, will also be included on the website. The program will be launched at the AIC Annual Meeting in Los Angeles this May.

As we are still in the early stages, we would greatly appreciate feedback. If you would like to become more involved with the organization of this or other ECPN initiatives, please contact Ryan Winfield at the AIC office or Angie Elliott (angiemelliott@yahoo.com) and Anne Simon (asimon@email.arizona.edu) directly.

Who we are…
  • Anne Simon is in her 3rd year of graduate school at the University of Arizona in the Department of Chemistry with an interest in Conservation Science.
  • Angie Elliott is currently a Kress Fellow at The Walters Art Museum but will begin a new job in January as the Assistant Objects Conservator at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Conference Call Notes - 11.20.08

Here is a synopsis of what came out of the latest conference call:

Possible ECPN projects at the 2009 Annual Meeting:

Photographic conservator Paul Messier pitched two possible projects for the ECPN:

1. The Angel's project for the AIC annual meeting in L.A. They are looking for possible venues for the project, as well as someone to coordinate. Would this be something that the ECPN would be interested in taking over? 

2. Blogging from the Annual Meeting. A couple of people who will post on their experiences from the meeting. Would give coverage to the meeting, and help people feel connected if they are not able to attend. Would also give students who have not yet attended a meeting an idea of what the meeting is like.

Keeping the Blog Active:

Laura proposed that we ask people to sign up for a week where they will provide content to the blog. For the time being, Laura volunteered to be the person who encourages people to post on the blog.  If we do set up an email for the blog through gmail, we can also set up a calendar through the email where the schedule for each week can be posted.  Laura will make sure that something gets posted every week.

Anne will take the first week of December and Chris will take the second week of December. As for content, we are thinking conservation related content that can be original content, an update about what your work for the group is, or point out something interesting in the conservation field.

Karen mentioned that she is interested in hearing how emerging conservators are approaching the field, our philosophies, and challenges we are facing. 

Anne mentioned that she would write a summary of the mentor program, and write a blurb about herself, and possibly Angie with her permission, stating who they are etc. This seems like a great way to balance the personal information and the conservation related content. 

We will also post the write up of the conference call by the Monday after it happens. This could be the responsibility of the person whose week it is, or by anyone who agrees to do it that is on the conference call. Laura will write the one for November, but is happy for someone else to take on the responsibilty for the call in December.

Chris asked if the blog had to be moderated by AIC.  We thought that perhaps we could set up an email that a few selected regular authors would have access to, and be able to approve content. This is thinking that the main reason for moderation is to keep the blog free from spam and to moderate any extremely inappropriate postings, rather than to censor emerging conservators voices. AIC would still have access as an author, but it would not be the only author.

DistList: We are also interested in starting a DistList type list that could be used in conjunction with the blog. This list would be open to members, and would be the place for posting questions and information. This would be sent out once a week. Could highlight recent blog entries. Rachel is willing to handle or work with someone on this project. 

Poster: We talked a little about the poster which was approved by the poster committee. We are thinking that it will mainly focus on the mentor program. (Also perhaps how the group is using internet resources, keep it very 2.0 themed. We will discuss the poster content early next year). There was a question about whether to put the poster in with the rest of the posters, or to place it by the registration desk. Rachel will find out what the room situation is for the posters.  Nicky has formated the abstract, and Angie is our contact person on the poster committee.

Mentor group: The mentor group has a rough draft of the mentor application and will be sending it out to a select group of conservators very soon. Anne will be posting an update on the mentor program on the blog soon. 

Join the next conference call on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 1:00 PM to find out the latest developments on the initiatives above and more.