Tuesday, December 21, 2010

November Meeting Minutes


November 18, 2010

Conference Call Attendees:
Ryan Winfield

Karen Pavelka

Amber Kerr Alison

Carrie Roberts

Amy Brost

Heather Brown

Rose Daly

Stephanie Porto, liaison from the Canadian Association of Conservators (CAC) Emerging Conservation Committee (ECC)

Stephanie Lussier

I. ECPN October meeting minutes approved unanimously

II. IAG Meeting (Amber)

a. Minutes will be posted to the AIC website, engaging with students was a topic, JAIC is interested in reviewers, approach the specialty groups and see if there could be a member of ECPN in each specialty group. 40th Anniversary meeting – focus will be on Advocacy and Outreach, considering changing the format of the meeting to be more general sessions

b. Communications and Outreach – Metadata .pdf for CoOL – more efficient search engine for CoOL, Meg Craft is excited about a student database of research. Approached by Lori Foley in the Emergency Task Force in CERT, student representative, could be like Health and Safety. Contact NYU to see if they would be willing to make postings available to the wider community, online job postings are free on the AIC website, Add links to ET section.

III. AIC Webpage Education and Training Section (Rose/Ryan)

a. Determined that, rather than adding job postings, add links to sites that routinely have job postings. This eliminates redundancy and the time commitment involved with maintaining current job listings. Links to include a list provided by Amy Brost in a recent call, plus others including Washington Conservation Guild.

b. Follow up with NYU to see if they would post more broadly. Concern that regional postings are never broadly available. Perhaps leverage AIC site, which now has free job listings. This page could become more robust.

c. Add images – need to explore how to do this and through whom at AIC

d. Resume samples and tips being explored

e. Becoming a conservator – need to enhance/update this area as well

IV. Database of Student Research (Carrie)

a. Recent discussion among Sagita Sunara, Amber, Carrie and Rose via Skype. Agreement that a vetting process must be in place. Already inherently done by faculty/staff at training programs. To submit research, require a master’s, PhD, or at minimum, a diploma in conservation.

b. Hosts being explored (CoOL or other)

c. Costs being explored – perhaps the membership could be a source for funding

d. Scope – start with N. America and if it is successful, grow internationally

e. Rights – work will be watermarked and also the copyright will remain with the student

V. AAM 2011 Proposal (Rose)

a. It was not accepted, although it was perhaps due in part to submitting by the more competitive second deadline rather than the early deadline. Will try again next year. Many emerging museum professionals there, so important to enhance ties there.

VI. AIC 2011 Meeting (Ryan/Rose)

a. Determined that the Business Meeting should be held Tuesday at 6 pm, and the dinner on Friday night at 6:30 or 7. This way, people who cannot attend the full week can attend one or the other. Also, new contacts made throughout the week can be invited to the Friday event.

b. Angels Project (Ryan) not yet developed, but will take place the Saturday after the meeting ends.

c. Media relations (Rose) – possibility of reaching out to Philadelphia Inquirer to do a story

d. Possible difficulty in reserving rooms for resume or portfolio sessions. Instead, consider having portfolio reviews during the Exhibit Hall break. Possibly 2 students (6-8 portfolios) from each program present to discuss their portfolios, Thurs. 1-1:30 and 3-3:30, at 3-4 tables.

e. Lightning round of short talks will be another year, maybe on the topic of outreach programs. Perhaps at ANAGPIC.

f. Short talks for another year could be done by ANAGPIC participants. Cut their 25-minute presentations down to 5 minutes. Fellows, PhD candidates, etc. on second day.

g. ECPN Poster – Amy will design based on last year’s poster. Style guidelines for AIC are in development and will be helpful. Amy to work with Heather, and gather images from ECPN to include.

VII. Outreach (Heather)

a. Blog posts have been added. To make the site more of a dialogue, ECPN members are encouraged to post comments.

b. Heather is contacting conservation guilds to ask for submissions to the blog, so ECPN members can be introduced to the various guilds. Rose to provide contact info to Heather for Richard McCoy at MRCG as one person to contact.

c. Heather has started a “Top 10” list on the blog as part of building up education and training content.

VIII. Communications (Amy)

a. Flier – IAG is developing best practices for AIC publications, and these style guidelines will help inform the flier design. Flier will be ready for the AIC meeting in May, along with the ECPN poster.

b. Amy is seeking photographs from ECPN members showing them at work on various projects. Image specifications to come, but high-resolution (print quality) images will be needed, with permission from the copyright holder.

IX. Mentoring program (Karen, Ryan, Heather, Rose)

a. Possible mentors have been approached. Plan to match all mentors and mentees by Dec. 1. Then follow-up with previous matches, and a call for additional mentors and/or mentees.

X. CIPP (Rose/Amy/Heather)

a. Develop a section of the website or ECPN blog about starting a private practice. Will contact Emily Phillips and others in private practice to see if they would write for the blog, or provide tips that can be assembled into a webpage. Reach out to CIPP Chair also.

b. Emily Gardner, a Buffalo graduate, also has a forum for CIPP newcomers that could be leveraged.

XI. IAG documents (Rose)

a. ECPN members should familiarize themselves with the IAG documents for committees available on the AIC website. Login and then go to Member Center > Committees and Task Forces > Internal Advisory Group Services.

b. Ryan set up the necessary permission for Amy. Ryan can provide access if it is blocked.

c. Minutes of the previous IAG meeting are available there also

Next conference call 1 PM EST, Thursday, December 16, 2010.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Brost

Monday, December 20, 2010

10 Tips for Becoming a Conservator

Tip #4: Begin assembling your portfolio early on

I think the term “portfolio” can be confusing to beginning conservators because all of the graduate program websites refer to your portfolio as a collection of studio art (paintings, drawings, etc.). You will need to have photographs of your artwork and/or original pieces to bring with you to interviews, but in addition to that you will be required to create a comprehensive binder showcasing all of your conservation experience: before and after treatment photos, copies of treatment proposals and reports, and documentation of any other preventive conservation projects and research. Altogether, this is what you should think of as your portfolio.

Oftentimes pre-program students will not see a single portfolio until attending the open house of one of the graduate programs; this was the case for me, so I really appreciated the opportunity to flip through ten very different portfolios, and ask the students why they organized them in a particular way. This is one of the reasons I highly recommend attending the open house days. Each school posts on their website when the next open house/portfolio day will be, and you can also email the department administrator to have your name put on the invitation list.

Examples of open houses, from 2010:



Winterthur (photo at right)

If you’re unable to make it to an open house, ask your supervisor and other co-workers if they have a portfolio that you can look at—current or not—just to get an idea of what is included as well as how it is formatted. More and more people are posting their portfolios online too, so try googling ‘art conservation portfolio’ and check out the ones that come up. These past students from the UT Austin program were ahead of the curve in posting their portfolios before the program closed.

One thing that makes a portfolio great is visual appeal. Before and after treatment photographs are necessary as documentation, but be sure to also take lots of photos of objects during treatment and of YOU while working. Conservators are used to building portfolios, so they should be more than willing to assume the position of personal photographer for you if you ask nicely.

And remember throughout the whole pre-program process to stay organized so that when you finally get ready to put your portfolio together, you won’t have to scramble to copy reports or find out the names and dates of every piece you’ve treated! It helps to make copies of all written documentation involved with the projects you’re working on as you go along.

Finally, don’t worry about spending a lot of money on the materials for your portfolio; ultimately, the content is what will get you accepted into school or chosen for a job.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Internship at Northwestern Library

Internship at Northwestern

Conservation Intern
Northwestern University Library

Part-time up to 18.75 hours per week, Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
Temporary position for 3-6 months

Salary: $8.75/hour

Northwestern University Library is offering a pre-program
conservation internship for a period of three to six months. The
Conservation Internship provides practical experience in a busy
academic library conservation lab and is designed to help prepare
applicants to Master's level training programs in conservation. The
internship is also an ideal opportunity for a Northwestern
University student interested in learning more about the
conservation profession.

The Conservation Intern will develop an understanding of the
functions and responsibilities of a research library conservation
lab working with a variety of library and archival materials.
Through the completion of specific internship projects, the
Conservation Intern will gain bench experience, develop skills in
treatment decision making, and participate in a broad range of
preservation and conservation activities.

The Conservation Intern reports to the Conservation Librarian and
works closely with other Preservation Department conservators
depending on the nature of assigned projects. Internship projects
will include the conservation treatment of a collection of
scrapbooks from University Archives and assisting with an item-level
survey of the Arabic Manuscripts Collection from the Herskovits
Library of African Studies. Treatments are likely to include
surface cleaning, humidification and flattening of paper, mending
paper and filling losses (including aesthetic compensation),
creating appropriate housings, and other treatments. The complexity
of treatments and level of decision making will increase as skills
develop. At the end of the internship, the intern will be required
to produce a written report or presentation of their work.


Candidates will need to demonstrate hand skills and attention to

Previous experience in conservation is preferred, but not

Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or eligible to work in the
United States.

Candidates must be enrolled in a bachelor's degree program or
have completed a bachelor's degree.

The application deadline is January 31, 2011. The internship will
begin in February 2011. Candidates should indicate desired length
of the internship in their cover letter. Interested candidates
should send a resume and a cover letter to:

Tonia Grafakos
Conservation Librarian
Northwestern University Library
t-grafakos [at] northwestern__edu

Saturday, December 18, 2010

AIC Committee for Sustainable Conservation Practices seeking new members

The AIC Committee for Sustainable Conservation Practices is seeking two new professional members to serve on the committee for a 2- year term beginning in May 2011. CSCP provides resources for AIC members and other caretakers of cultural heritage regarding environmentally sustainable approaches to preventive care and other aspects of conservation practice. We provide resources via electronic media, workshops, publications and presentations. Professional members meet approximately once a month via telephone conference to discuss progress of their shared ongoing tasks including editing the AIC Wiki Sustainable Practice Page, research, presentations, and writing articles .
Please submit a statement of interest and your resume to Sarah Nunberg at snunberg [at] aol [dot] com by January 17, 2011.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

10 Tips for Becoming a Conservator

Tip #3: Take advantage of online resources

If you’re reading this blog then you’re already on the right track! Blogs are generally written as editorials, but contain valuable resources like researched articles, interviews with conservators, or links to other useful sites. And if readers add their own comments (hint hint), you can build a great dialogue between a diverse crowd. Here’s a sampling of some blogs worth visiting: Art:21 Blog, Brooklyn Museum, Dan Cull Weblog, Indianapolis Museum of Art, June and Art, Jeff Peachey.

Social networking sites are wonderful resources for organizing information in one place. Even if you don’t feel like connecting with friends, you can use Twitter and Facebook to network with other professionals or simply check the pages for conservation articles, current news, and links to blog postings. Both sites do more or less the same thing—bring you updates from a variety of people and institutions—but some conservators prefer to tweet than share, or like instead of follow. On either site you will find up-to-date reports from ICCROM, IIC, the University of Delaware and more!

AIC also produces an online news bulletin, on top of the quarterly newsletter sent out by mail. Even if you’re not a member, spend some time perusing the AIC site. You can watch tutorials on chemistry, register for workshops and online courses, and watch a video or two.

Finally, be sure to subscribe to the Conservation Distribution List. Each week an email is sent out listing events, job postings, conservation questions, and general conservation news. Like all of the other websites mentioned, the distlist provides up-to-date information, but it’s all compiled nicely into an email and sent to you. Sign up here.

The greatest thing about all of these resources is that they are open forums that allow you to participate; you can share a link on Facebook, comment on AIC news, or even post your own article on the ECPN blog—and I hope you do!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Midwest Regional Conservation Guild

If you’ve been reading our 10 Tips for Becoming a Conservator, you know how important it is to get involved with professional organizations. The Midwest Regional Conservation Guild (MRCG) is a great example of a regional group that has a lot to offer, and it exists to benefit conservators like you! I asked the current president, Laurie Booth, some general questions to get an idea of what the MRCG is all about:

1. When and how was the guild founded?

The guild was founded 30 years ago by a group of professionals in the Midwest who felt it was time to form a regional group in order to facilitate a dissemination of information and to represent the needs of Midwest conservators to organizations like the AIC and Heritage Preservation. Our last meeting was dedicated to a history of conservation in our flagship cultural institutions as well as a history of MRCG itself.

2. How many members does the guild have, and who is membership available to?

Membership fluctuates from year-to-year, but ranges from about 70-120 members. The Midwest is loosely defined in our case. We have no restrictions on memberships vis a vis location of our members. We have members from Colorado, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, etc.

We are working on an official discount for student members – please refer to the wiki site where we will post more information on the discount (for meeting fees) when they become formalized. The actual discount will probably vary from meeting to meeting. 3-4 students are given discounts to each meeting but are expected to assist with registration and other duties in exchange.

3. What are the benefits of becoming an MRCG member?

Membership fees include receipt of our semi-annual newsletter and inclusion in the official directory. We have one meeting a year in the fall, sometimes associated with a special workshop that is occasionally opened to allied professionals, but only members are typically allowed to attend meetings, which involve separate fees.

Our meetings are designed to be low-priced and are usually offered at cost to our membership. In the last few years we have begun to offer workshops on such topics as museum storage, art in transit, the conservation of contemporary art, mastering fills, and similar subjects.

4. Does the MRCG have a website?

Our wiki site, set-up by Richard McCoy, objects conservator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is excellent and provides just about everything you need to know about the Guild and how to join.

5. Finally, what is the most special thing about your guild?

We pride ourselves on being open, friendly, convivial and an excellent place to meet fellow professionals. At our meetings (which tend to be small, typically 30-60 participants) we share information in a multi-disciplinary format that is not readily available at AIC conferences as most specialty group sessions run concurrently. Regional guilds are a great way to get a taste of the various disciplines available to the budding professional and to effectively network with conservators working at the various regional cultural institutions as well as those in private practice.

Thanks, Laurie, for that introduction to the MRCG! I hope our readers will take advantage of your website and contact you if they have any more questions!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Summer Work Project at Shelburne Museum

The Shelburne Museum is offering one summer work project in the conservation treatment of polychrome sculpture. The project will either be eight weeks or eleven weeks in duration. The intern will document and treat a carousel horse made by the Gustav Dentzel factory in 1902 over the course of eight weeks. As an optional three week extension, the intern will document and treat a rounding board from the carousel. Each project has been chosen by donors to Shelburne Museum’s Adopt a Carousel Animal Program. The animals are made of carved wood embellished with brass and glass ornaments. The rounding board is a painted flat wood panel. Past treatments of animals from the same carousel have involved removal of maintenance linseed oil coatings from the wood, metal, and glass surfaces and fabricating missing ornaments or portions of ornaments. More information on the history of the carousel and the project can be found in an article by Richard Kerschner and Nancie Ravenel, “Here We Go ‘Round Again: Cleaning Linseed Oil from Carousel Animals at Shelburne Museum” in JAIC 45 (2006): 201-210,




This project would be appropriate for a graduate level student or an advanced undergraduate level student. In return for undertaking this challenging internship nestled between the Adirondack and Green Mountains, we will provide a stipend of $1750 for eight weeks (June 6-August 1, 2011) or $2500 for eleven weeks (June 6-August 22, 2011) and a private room in a house shared with other museum interns. Interested individuals should send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references, only two of which may be from academia, to Nancie Ravenel at nravenel@shelburnemuseum.org by January 17, 2011. Applicants should indicate whether the eight week or eleven week option is of interest.

Nancie Ravenel
Objects Conservator
Shelburne Museum
5555 Shelburne Rd.
Shelburne, VT 05482
802-985-3348 x3354

Monday, November 22, 2010

10 Tips for Becoming a Conservator

Tip #2: Join professional organizations

The purpose of a professional organization is to uphold standards of practice, and to provide educational and networking opportunities to its members. Most organizations charge for membership, but as a student you can usually pay a reduced fee, and it is well worth it for the benefits that you receive in return.

The largest organization for conservation in the United States is the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works . AIC publishes the Code of Ethics and Guidelines of Practice that all practicing conservators in the U.S. adhere to. Once you become a member, you will receive a directory of all members, a newsletter six times per year, and access to all of the online resources that AIC has to offer. Student membership is $65 for the calendar year, not including specialty groups.

Your local conservation guild is another group to take advantage of. Besides holding meetings, workshops and lectures, guilds tend to organize many tours and social events throughout the year—offering a great opportunity to meet other conservators. Fellow guild members can answer your general conservation questions, and relationships with other conservators will prove useful in the future when you’re looking for a job or when you’re in need of collaboration on a project. Regional organizations are listed on the website for the Conservators in Private Practice Specialty Group of AIC. Membership can range anywhere from $5 to $35 for students.

There are, of course, many more organizations on the international level, but I suggest starting locally so you don’t get too overwhelmed with newsletters and emails at first! Here’s a short list of conservation and related groups if you want to see what they have to offer:

International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation

International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art

Canadian Conservation Institute

The Institute of Conservation

International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property

American Association of Museums

College Art Association

Saturday, November 20, 2010

October Meeting Minutes


October 21, 2010

Conference Call Attendees:
Ryan Winfield

Karen Pavelka

Carrie Roberts

Amy Brost

Heather Brown

Rose Daly

I. AIC Meeting (Karen)

a. AIC annual meeting location was moved to Philadelphia due to bankruptcy of previous venue. Group consensus was that the transition was handled very well, with clear communication throughout. Philadelphia will be an ideal location for students in the NYU and Delaware programs to attend, and the mid-Atlantic region is central for many AIC members, so it was good to be able to keep the 2011 meeting in the northeast.

II. Communications Update (Amy)

a. Conversation with Rachael Perkins Arenstein regarding AIC Publications. Rachael emphasized that ECPN members should feel free to send content for the AIC website, blog, etc. Students and emerging conservators are encouraged to send their research projects and theses to JAIC. For those wishing to submit content for the Wikis, each specialty group has its own approach and submission guidelines, and needs to be approached separately.

b. Conversation with Michele Derrick regarding JAIC Peer Reviewers. There were responses to the invitation and there is currently a robust list of prospective reviewers. They will be called upon depending on the nature of the submissions. There are two reviewers per paper, and although they remain anonymous, participants can certainly add “JAIC Peer Reviewer” to their resume under ‘professional affiliations’ or ‘service work.’

c. Four proposed ECPN logo designs and a flier design were submitted for discussion. The proposed flier has a tear-off ‘wallet card’ to make it easier to keep key information about ECPN, the blog, additional contact information, etc. Further discussion is needed regarding the appropriateness of having a separate logo for ECPN. Perhaps use ECPN logo in conjunction with the AIC logo. Flier will be used for ANAGPIC and perhaps other upcoming conferences.

III. Student Research Database (Carrie)

a. Carrie, Amber Kerr-Allison, and Sagita Sunara discussed the idea and would like to move ahead with a plan to create an online database of student research in conservation. Catalyst was the IIC in Istanbul and also the first annual Engaging in the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (EPOCH) student symposium (Austin, TX). At both conferences, students felt that they were largely unaware of the research projects underway in other parts of the world. EPOCH has many abstracts already. Standards would need to be developed (i.e., require a significant research component). A link could be created off the AIC webpage. Rose will organize a conference call with Lori, Carrie, Amber, and Sagita to determine next steps.

IV. Outreach Update (Heather)

a. Poster abstract for AIC 2011 meeting was submitted, though no feedback yet. ECPN members could take shifts spending time at the poster to talk to meeting attendees about the organization. Heather will take a flier to a meeting of emerging museum professionals the week of Oct. 25. Rose will make Heather an Admin on the Facebook page so she can remove spam. Julie Benner of the Glasgow Conservation Center has agreed to write a post for the ECPN blog.

V. Mentor Program (Ryan)

a. Most of the mentee applicants have been paired up with mentors.

b. The process for pairing mentors with mentees is as follows: Process mentee applications and search for appropriate match. Team of three people are reviewing prospective matches. Email mentor with proposed mentee information for approval. If the mentor agrees, s/he then contacts the mentee. Mentee approves of the match.

c. Need to fine-tune the application process to regulate the flow of applications. Perhaps create four submission “cycles” with deadlines. Promote the program for each cycle to AIC members.

d. Get back to people waiting for mentors to let them know when they can expect a response.

e. Karen agreed to reach out to prospective mentors. Heather/Rose will follow up on the specific needs of the mentees.

VI. International Student Conference (Carrie, for Amber)

a. Idea that there should be an international version of ANAGPIC, an association of international conservation training programs. Need to find out how receptive the organizations would be. Students are not fully aware of all training programs. An international student conference could be organized, perhaps an online conference. Concerns about the overlap with other conferences, costs of travel, technology costs. Need to study the feasibility of the idea and how it might be executed.

VII. “Become a Conservator” Web Page (Ryan)

a. Reviewed by ECPN per Ryan’s request. Group consensus that there could be more links, more graduate program information, and more on training. Break up the text by inserting more photos, personal touches like people profiles.

Next conference call 1 PM EST, Thursday, November 18, 2010.

Respectfully submitted,

Amy Brost

Monday, November 15, 2010

10 Tips for Becoming a Conservator

Many of us emerging conservation professionals agree that our initial venture into the field of conservation was somewhat unguided, and making connections with people was nearly impossible. With social media as accessible as it is today, information should be much more readily disseminated and networking with other students and conservators should be an obtainable goal.

Moving in that direction, I have compiled what I consider to be the ten most useful tips in pursuing a career in conservation; these tips were originally intended for pre-program students, but looking back through them, I believe they can apply to conservators of all levels. Being pre-program myself, I’m certainly no expert on ‘becoming a conservator,’ but I have taken the advice of faculty members at the conservation schools, my mentors, and my co-workers to compile this [hopefully helpful] list for you.

Paper conservation lab at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tip #1: Visit conservators at their studio/lab

You can find conservators in your area by looking through the Geographical Index of the AIC directory (if you’re a member) or through the ‘Find a Conservator’ feature on the AIC website. Also, you can search for a specific city or museum through CoOL’s ‘Finding People’ page—just hit ctrl + F after choosing the country.

Touring a conservation studio provides both an educational and a networking opportunity. You will see how the space is set up, what type of equipment they use, and the treatments that are in-progress. Also, you have the chance to meet all of the people that work in that space and learn about each person’s path to becoming a conservator.

If you’re looking for internship experience, lab visits can be a way of getting your foot in the door; sometimes people are more willing to take you on as an intern after getting to know you in person. It may be a good idea to bring along a cv and portfolio of studio art to show your hand skills, and don’t forget to send a thank you card!

Stay tuned for tip #2....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

TCC Back in Action

Frieze from Botanic Gardens Park, Glasgow

I have the pleasure and privilege of introducing the ECPN to the new incarnation of the Textile Conservation Centre! The TCC has had a long history of scholarship and practice in the conservation of historic and artistic textiles in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately the program closed at the University of Southampton in 2009, much to the chagrin of aspiring textile conservators like myself. I was so excited to see a notice on the TCC website this past spring, that the Centre would be getting a new life in Glasgow, Scotland.

From the TCC website:
"The TCC was founded by Karen Finch OBE in 1975 and was based at Hampton Court Palace. In 1998 it became part of the University of Southampton, in a purpose-designed building on its Winchester campus, but was closed by the University on 31st October 2009. Glasgow University, working with the TCC Foundation, is creating a new centre using all of the assets of the former TCC including equipment, the TCC library and intellectual property. "

Please see the TCC website for the official press release and photos!

The inaugural class is comprised of seven students - five from the UK, one from Canada, and myself from the United States. We have come from diverse academic and professional backgrounds and are now candidates for the two-year MPhil in Textile Conservation. Speaking for myself, it is a bit challenging - but mostly exciting - to be a part of this "guinea pig" first year. All of us scrambled to submit our applications when the course was approved in June, not knowing whether or not we'd be in Scotland in the fall. The TCC foundation has provided amazing support for the program - many many thanks to them!

This semester our courses are being accomodated within the History of Art building as we wait for a brand-spanking new lab to be completed for next semester. Without our "bespoke" (I have learned that's the British word for "custom-built!") facilities available this semester, we have had the opportunity to do practical labs and workshops at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre - an amazing storehouse for the collections of the major Glasgow Museums. (Their institutional philosophy is one of more open access to collections for the community - so the facility strikes a very delicate balance between controlled store and exhibition space. Check out Glasgow Life for more information on Glasgow museums.)

Instructor Sarah Foskett (right)demonstrating the fine points of acid-free tissue to student Charlotte Gamper at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre.

The semester has already flown by. Visits to Glasgow Museums' Burrell Collection, the Hunterian Gallery and the Hunterian Museum on the Glasgow University campus, and the National Museums of Scotland conservation labs in Edinburgh have kept us busy along with our coursework. In the next couple of weeks we will be in chemistry exams, submitting sample object documentation, and writing final essays for our Material Cultures course, as well as preparing a literature review of research we would like to undertake on a topic of our choosing, perhaps to be used in our course-culminating dissertations at the end of the second year.

Students (from left to right) Nikki Chard, Hayley Rimington, and Beatrice Farmer show off a "cracking" packing job.

Meanwhile, the city of Glasgow beckons with its killer music scene, arts events, Indian and Pakistani restaurants to die for, and charming citizenry to meet out at the pub! City life isn't the only thing that Scotland has to offer, obviously - both the Scottish Isles and the Highlands are a train or bus ride away, offering the most inspiring beauty on those much-needed study breaks.

The author (Julie Benner) visits the Isle of Arran, off the southwest coast of Scotland

I really look forward to keeping the ECPN abreast of the developments here at the TCC and welcome any comments or inquiries about TCC or Glasgow!

St. George's Square, Glasgow

Edited 06 December 2010 to add University of Glasgow link to the program:


Monday, November 8, 2010

Mellon Fellowship at the Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum
Andrew W. Mellon
Conservation Fellowships (2)
Object – Painting – Paper

The Brooklyn Museum announces the opening of two Fellowships in conservation supported by a permanent endowment established by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to establish a permanent endowment to support fellowships in conservation. The two year fellowships , with the possibility of a third year, will be offered in either object, paper, or painting conservation beginning September 2011.

The Brooklyn Museum‘s collection and exhibition schedule offer varied and rewarding educational experiences in conservation. Fellows will be immediately involved in all aspects of the department, working with a diverse professional conservation staff, and interacting with colleagues throughout the institution to preserve and present art work.

Successful candidates should be graduates of a conservation training program or have equivalent experience. Applications should include a letter of interest, resume, and two letters of recommendation from conservation professionals, along with two detailed conservation condition reports, accompanying treatment proposals and treatment report with full documentation, all carried out completely by the applicant, all in hard copy. After initial review, selected applicants will be invited for an interview and portfolio review at the Museum.

The Museum should receive applications no later than December 1, 2010. Candidates will be selected for interviews in January- February 2011, and the final selection awarded in March 2011.

The starting salary is $33,000 / year with full Museum benefits, including annual leave and medical benefits, and a travel allowance of $2,500 to support professional development.

Applicants should be sent to: Conservation Fellowship//The Brooklyn Museum// 200 Eastern Parkway//Brooklyn, New York, 11238

All further inquires should be sent to the previous address or Conservation.Fellow@brooklynmuseum.org Brooklyn Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants for positions are considered without regard to race, creed, color, country of origin, sex, age, citizenship, disability or sexual orientation. Candidates of color are strongly encouraged to apply. The Immigration and Control Act (1986) requires that all hires be in conformity with the law.

Kenneth S. Moser
Carol Lee Shen Chief Conservator
Vice Director for Collections
The Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Call for papers ANAGPIC 2011

Call for papers
2011 ANAGPIC Student Conference Special Session
Conservation/Conservation Science Lightning Round
Delaware Art Museum
Saturday, 16 April 2011

On behalf of the Association of North American Graduate Programs in
Art Conservation, the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in
Art Conservation invites submissions for a Conservation/Conservation
Science Lightning Round to be held during the 2011 ANAGPIC Student
Conference in Wilmington, DE.

The preservation and conservation of cultural heritage is inherently
interdisciplinary, and its scholars may be found in a variety of
disciplines ranging from art conservation and archaeology to
materials science and nanotechnology. This session invites
submissions from current North American doctoral students and
post-graduate researchers that relate to technical art history or
the preservation of art, historic architecture, and cultural
heritage, broadly defined. "Post-graduate researchers" includes
students who have graduated from a Master's program and are now on
advanced internships carrying out research. The
Conservation/Conservation Science Lightning Round will consist of 12
speakers, each with five minutes to present an illustrated summary
of their research to current conservation graduate students,
followed by a Q&A session for all speakers.

Please submit proposals (abstract of no more than 250 words, contact
information, and institutional affiliation) or any inquiries to

anagpic.lightning [at] gmail__com

Submissions must be received by 10pm EST on 5 January 2011.

Speakers will be notified in February 2011.

Chris Cole
Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Conservation Education
Department of Art Conservation
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Characterization of Silver Gelatin Photographs" Conference

On September 30-October 1, 2010, The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works and The New York Public Library presented the “Characterization of Silver Gelatin Photographs” conference at The New York Public Library.

According to the AIC, this conference was intended to present the body of knowledge currently available on the subject of characterizing silver gelatin developed-out photographs. Attendees heard from a range of professionals, including conservators, curators, manufacturers, and artists. Highlights included a presentation on Paul Messier’s vast and growing collection of photographic papers, including their wonderful packaging, from the late 19th century to the present day, as well as a general history of papers. Artists Vera Lutter and Alison Rossiter discussed their contemporary chemical photography work, in terms of their process and their use of the silver gelatin process. Anne Cartier-Bresson spoke about characterization of silver gelatin prints using Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work to illustrate key points. Day 1 concluded with an overview of current research at the Image Permanence Institute (IPI), and a panel discussion on connoisseurship and the marketplace.

From industry, Howard Hopwood, Chairman of Harman Technology, producer of Ilford products, spoke about the tradition and future of silver halide technology. Kit Funderburk, formerly a senior technical manager at Kodak, discussed the manufacturing history of Kodak papers and, in a second talk on Day 2, indicated the ways in which paper characteristics could be used to help date papers and prints. A complete PDF of his book on the subject can be downloaded free, or view the separate chapters here, on the George Eastman House “Notes on Photographs” website.

On Day 2, there were a series of technical talks, with two sessions on using XRF (X-ray fluorescence spectrometry) to analyze photographs. One provided an overview of the history and status of the application of XRF, and the other dealt with the specific case of a set of stabilized prints. There were two sessions covering characterization projects at MoMA. One focused on how chemometrics can help categorize papers. In the other, Lee Ann Daffner discussed MoMA’s ongoing characterization of the Thomas Walther Collection of photographs. MoMA is working with Cultural Heritage Imaging to use RTI/PTM to study the collection. MoMA’s camera array and its associated software create a composite image from multiple images of a single photograph, enabling a full “virtual” examination of the photograph. Day 2 also included a talk on how the presence of optical brighteners can help date papers, as well as a session on silver gelatin DOP sample sets in development. The conference ended with a discussion of future directions and needed research projects.

All the sessions were recorded. If they’re made available online, we’ll publish the link in a future post.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September Minutes

ECPN Minutes - September 24, 2010 1 PM EST, conference call

On Call:
Ryan Winfield
Heather Brown
Rose Daly

1. New Committee Members, committee position descriptions
2. AIC Website, ECPN blog updates
3. Twitter, Facebook, Ning updates
4. Outreach: ECPN poster at the AIC 2011 meeting, podcasts, AIC outreach lecture, local outreach, flier, upcoming meetings to be attended by ECPN committee members.
5. Angels Project
6. Mentoring Project

1. New Committee Members
Welcome to Heather Brown and Amy Brost! Heather will take over the position of Outreach coordinator from Jason Church and Amy will take over the communications coordinator position from Katie Mullen. Thanks to Jason and Katie for all your hard work and dedication to ECPN. I encourage Heather and Amy to keep a general file of meeting minutes and their projects to pass along to future committee members.

2. AIC Website, ECPN blog updates
Since finding jobs and internships are so important to emerging members, the ECPN will look over the career center of the AIC website and suggest content that could be added, especially in the “Becoming a Conservator” section. During the call we discussed specifically having topics like: resumes and C.V.’s, Portfolios, “Top 10 things a pre-program intern should know” (this would be great to partner with the Education and Training committee), Documentation, the ECPN mentoring program, research ideas, and maybe a list of links to helpful websites, blogs, etc. Amy Brost has also sent out a list of links, to be added to the ECPN blog, but perhaps also the webpage. A survey of conservators was also suggested to ask what supervisors look for in a C.V., and their expectations for pre-program interns, graduate fellows, and post-graduate fellows.

Ryan is looking into a Google calendar for the webpage, and perhaps importing the blog to Facebook so updates on the blog are automatically posted on Facebook. Ryan is working with Membership to list pre-program supervisors on the AIC “Find a Conservator” search function.

3. Twitter – Rose has de-activated the account, Facebook – Rose and Ryan are Admins, Heather Brown was just made an Admin – Would Jason Church and Katie Mullen like to continue to be administrators? Ning was de-activated by Ryan.

4. Outreach: A poster at the AIC 2011 meeting will be proposed, deadline is October 1st – Heather and Rose will work on it. Podcasts of the outreach lecture are being planned, we are still brainstorming for a speaker to record, and a microphone would be needed, Rose mentioned purchasing one personally that she would be willing to allow other ECPN members to use. Heather is attending MAAM Oct 25, (http://www.midatlanticmuseums.org/) and hopefully she can bring some fliers about ECPN, Rose will be sending the flier to Amy and Heather for editing, Rose is attending MRCG November 12 (http://mrcg.wik.is/) and she can look for interested future ECPN members or collaborations with MRCG.

5. Angels Project: Heather will be contacting Ruth about the Angels project at the AIC 2011 meeting.

6. Mentoring Project: Heather and Ryan will be working together on the mentoring project, Heather may be posting a testimonial from a successful mentee on the ECPN blog, and possibly the AIC webpage as well.

Next call will be Oct. 21, 2010.

Good meeting, very fast, and there is a lot to follow-up about, look for e-mails from Rose soon.