Friday, January 23, 2009

Pictures needed for the ECPN poster at the AIC annual meeting!

The ECPN is presenting a poster at the AIC Annual Meeting being held in L.A. from May 19th to the 22nd. The poster will be included in the regular poster session, and will serve to introduce ECPN to the larger AIC audience. Each of the primary initiatives of the group will be highlighted, and emphasis will be placed on how we will use technology to serve emerging conservation professionals, as well as the global conservation community. (see abstract below)

Sadly, our topics don’t really lend themselves to exciting visuals (ooh look, the page capture of the blog!), so we thought of gathering images to tell another story. We are looking for pictures from emerging conservators that illustrate the progression of your career in conservation. We also welcome images of more established conservators from when they were “emerging,” as well as a recent picture for comparison. The more drastic the hair evolution, the better.

We also thought that this is the perfect opportunity to start thinking about creating a logo- or a color- for ECPN. If you are feeling creative, drop us a line, or even better, a sketch!

We would like to have all the pictures by March 15th

To contact us please email:

Nicky, Anne and Laura

Poster Abstract--

AIC's Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) was launched in 2008 with the purpose of serving AIC members who have been in the field for up to five years, current graduate students, as well as those who are looking to enter the profession. ECPN is taking full advantage of new technologies to encourage connections between conservators and share information. These include social networking tools such as Ning and Facebook, as well as broader developments in AIC, such as the new website and outreach presentation.

Emerging conservation professionals are very likely to be familiar with new technology, and feel comfortable using digital photodocumentation, web-based research, and new materials and techniques. But while they may be very up to date on conservation literature and information, they also know that they don't have all the answers.

While new technologies bring many advantages and opportunities, in some situations there is still no substitute for personal interaction. One of the objectives of the group is to establish an effective mentorship program which utilizes both high- and low-tech methods. Emerging conservation professionals will be paired with an appropriate mentor based on a variety of criteria, and will be able to connect to them via email, phone, social network, or in person. Mentees will benefit from the experience and guidance of the mentor, while the mentor will benefit from being connected to the next generation of conservators and learn about new trends in conservation.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Conference Call Notes - 1.22.09

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


1. Leadership Structure - Amber will contact each program for a slate of interested people to serve as liaisons to the network.
2. Angel's Project - Amber will follow-up with the liaison at Heritage Preservation. Ryan will contact Paul Messier about other possible project sites. We might want to contact the LA Conservancy about any possible projects in the LA area.
3. Poster -  contact each of the leads, need pictures of people in various stages of their career; Ryan will send Nicky and Laura the contact information for each of the leads for the interviews. 
4. Mentoring Program - Anne Simon will send me their latest version of the forms. Ryan will upload them and the latest outline of the program on to the networks page on the new website. We hope to have people matched up by the time of the 2009 Annual Meeting. If the website does not launch in time, the form and information will live on the blog and the Ning network.

Amber Kerr Allison
Anne Simon
Karen Pavelka
Katie Mullen
Steven Pickman
Laura Brill

Call for Nominations

As our network takes on more and more tasks and initiatives, we are beginning to realize that there is need for a more formal leadership structure within the network, which is why we are placing a call out for nominations for the following elected leadership positions:

Elected Positions

1) Chair: serves for one year; serves as a chair emeritus after their one year term is over; is a practicing conservator and not a student.

2) Co-Chair: serves for one year; rotates automatically into the chair position after the conclusion of their first year as co-chair; is a practicing conservator and not a student

3) Communications Coordinator: serves for one year; is a practicing conservator and not a student.

Appointed Positions

In addition, there will be several "appointed" leads for the various projects being taken on by the network:

1. Conservation Training
2. Mentoring Program
3. Angel's Project
4. Certification
5. Social Networking

Advisory Group

We are looking to establish an Advisory Group made up of liaisons from the various conservation training programs.

Nominations for the elected positions will be collected until Thursday February 19th. Elections begin on the Friday, February 20th and will close on Friday, March 6th. Results will be announced via the blog and listserve. 

Nominations should be posted to the Call for Nominations discussion in the forum section of our Ning network:

or they can be sent sent to Ryan Winfield, Membership Coordinator, at

Friday, January 16, 2009

Internship Application Advice

What I look for in an internship application
Nancie Ravenel, objects conservator, Shelburne Museum

I might be a little late in posting our summer work project, but I'd like to put my cards on the table and tell you what I'm looking for in an application package. I don't know if what we do is typical, but we don't generally interview candidates for the summer work projects. I make my decisions solely based on the application and references.

Cover letter
I like to see that you've looked at what I've posted and thought about it. Its great to tell me why you think you'd be great for the job, but also tell me what you think the job could do for you, what you hope to gain from the experience. Where are you in your educational process and what lessons do you think that the project will teach you? Please check out our website. Is there something going on at the museum that you hope you'll be able to experience during the internship beyond the posted project?

Please pay attention to details. Double check that you've spelled names correctly – particularly the museum's! If you need to, have a friend proofread.

Is there anything we will need to know in processing your application? If you are not an American citizen, do you have the appropriate papers or will we need to start a visa process for you? Its not an application killer, we’ve had about half a dozen interns working in the lab over the years. It is helpful to know so that I can jump right on that visa process if I need to. Similarly, if you are applying from outside the US, let me know if you are an American or carry dual citizenship.

In my posts I ask for three references, no more than two from academia. Your teachers all think you're fantastic, and they provide me with some wonderful observations about your work. I really need to talk to somebody who has supervised your work, ideally a conservator, but I can also talk to shop managers or restaurant owners.

Please give me complete contact information. I typically email your references to set up a meeting by phone.

I prefer that you send your applications via email. It makes my life so much easier. I may be uncommon in this, so best to ask the institution about what makes their life easier.

Please don't wait until the last moment of the closing date to send it in. Rightly or wrongly, I tend to consider when an application arrives as a measure of the candidate's interest.

So that’s what I look for. Best wishes to everybody for finding a good fit for the summer.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

United States Embassy, Lima - 2009 Museum Internship Program

For the seventh consecutive year, the U.S. Embassy in Lima is undertaking a series of programs to support cultural preservation under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Cultural Patrimony between Peru and the United States. In support of the MOU, the Embassy promotes an internship program for American graduate students of museum studies and conservation programs to be held from July through August 2009.

The objective of this program is to enable well-qualified graduate students the opportunity to do field research in Lima, Arequipa and Lambayeque. It will also support museums that house rich art collections, but are greatly in need of skilled professionals.

These internships will provide an excellent opportunity for Peruvian and American colleagues to exchange ideas on new techniques related to conservation, marketing, and exhibition planning, with long-term possibilities for collaboration.

Select museums have presented projects and provided detailed outlines of the work to be performed. Professional museum staff will closely supervise each intern and costs will be shared among all parties. The Embassy will be the link between the universities and the Peruvian museums and will provide required materials. Each museum will provide in-kind support and lodging. Also, the university or the intern will be responsible for international transportation and health insurance. The Embassy provides a small stipend to cover living expenses such as meals and incidentals.

All applicants must be U.S. citizens, must have at least intermediate oral Spanish skills (unless otherwise indicated in the project description), must be willing to complete the full course of the internship, and must be enrolled or have recently completed a graduate program in museum studies or related fields.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter with the following information:
• Name of applicant,
• Name of specific internship program,
• Name of current graduate program,
• Honest assessment of Spanish ability which may be corroborated in a phone interview

Please also attach current curriculum vitae, a one-page essay explaining the student’s interest in the internship, and a letter of recommendation by a professor.

Send the above information to the attention of Vanessa Wagner de Reyna, email, fax: 011- (511) 434-1299, before March 30, 2009. Students will be notified if they have been accepted by mid April. The Embassy will then provide additional information regarding travel, visas, and other requirements to the selected interns. Please note that this information is also available on line at:

Should you have questions please do not hesitate to contact us at the above email or by phone at 011- (511) 618-2080. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Paul G. Degler
Cultural Affairs Officer