Thursday, May 21, 2009

after the issues... some random thoughts...

The issues session just wrapped up. Rachel, Jason, Audra and Laura are hanging out, talking about what happened, talking about what needs to happen, talking about outreach and how awesome some of the comments were.

And of course, Rachel did a great job announcing the ECPN- in fact there was applause when she was done! The mentor applications flew- now we just need some mentees. CIPP also offered ECPN members the student rate for one year!

Tweeters and Bloggers who stood up and commented:

If you haven't been checking twitter- you should. Search #aic20 You don't even have to have a twitter account!

Ellen Carlee of blogging fame also got up and made several great comments- including one about the AIC budget and whether it could be available to the general membership. There was a little hesitation from the AIC to say- okay we will post everything tomorrow, but it the idea of transparency, which was reinforced by Richard's comment about "pulling back the curtain" seemed to really resonate with more than just emerging conservators.

Did you go to the issues session, or was there something you wish you could have said?
Time for the business meeting!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Live from LA - It's the AIC Annual Meeting!

Conservators are converging on the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in LA for the AIC Annual Meeting... and LA was kind enough to greet us with another earthquake today! 
ECPN kicked off the meeting with an informal dinner at the food court of the Westfield Shopping mall food court. We had a great turnout and I had a lot of fun meeting new emerging conservators. I had the "six degrees of separation" conversation with a few people (of course with conservation it's more like one or two degrees of separation). Even though I know it's a small profession I'm still always amazed how I can meet a new conservator I've never seen before and realize we've worked at the same place at different times or have worked with some of the same people. I'd love to see a map of all these connections... there's a project for some enterprising and tech savvy emerging conservator.

Thanks to all the ECs who came out and I look forward to meeting more of you as the week goes on.

Friday, May 1, 2009


One week ago I had the chance to attend the Association of North American Graduate Programs in the Conservation of Cultural Property (ANAGPIC) annual conference. This year's conference was held in the auditorium of the newly constructed Burchfield Penney Art Center located just across the street from the Buffalo State College Art Conservation department and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.  
I was given the opportunity to speak to the attendees about what ECPN is and what projects we've been working on. I stayed the rest of the day to hear all 14 student talks and as usual they were just phenomenal. We emerging conservators are really doing some great research and ANAGPIC is always such a great showcase of what students are capable of. I think the student conference is a great preview of new techniques and analytical tools being tested in conservation. DNA sequencing, testing for gunpowder residue, multi spectral imaging, online databases for sharing object information, and dry ice dusting were just some of the techniques students used in their projects. 

In no particular order (and in each case these were TOTALLY not the main point of these talks) here are some of my favorite highlights:
-Ariel O'Connor's splicing of multiple x-radiographs to create a 360 degree rotating video of a Qing Dynasty sculpture.
-Marie Stewart's use of a cotton swab wrapped in teflon tape in order to reduce abrasion when cleaning a sensitve Javanese shadow puppet. (I can't wait to try that out!)
-Sharra Grow's discovery that wax detected with analysis was not from the artwork being tested but from a wax coating on a wooden swab stick. 
-From Lauren Cox's presentation on the Master of the Fogg Pieta Research Project I heard
 what is possibly the coolest name ever: Arcadius Lyon. Not only did he have a cool name but he was doing hatched stroke inpainting before tratteggio became all the rage.
-The running CSI theme in more than one presentation... Well if CSI could make science seem cool then so can we!

I wasn't able to stay for the banquet that night or for the talks on Saturday, but while I was there I had some great conversations with students and faculty and got so much positive feedback on ECPN. I hope you all had as much fun as I did.

So for those of you who attended ANAGPIC: What did you enjoy hearing about? Did you make it down Elmwood Avenue to discover India Gate, Pano's, Saigon Cafe, Cole's or one of Buffalo's other great restaurants? What did I miss at the banquet Friday night and at the talks on
 Saturday morning? And even though I never presented a paper, can you find me on the ANAGPIC webpage?

The dancing neon sign at Bidwell Parkway and Elmwood Ave.