Sunday, March 14, 2010

Meg Craft discusses AIC

The following are my notes from a meeting with Meg Craft and Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation faculty and students on March 11, 2010.

The meeting began with a brief description of AIC:
It is a membership organization instead of a institutional organization.
There are 3,300 members
supported by a staff of 10
FAIC is a separate organization, AIC is the office and membership portion
Both are non-profit, but the FAIC applies for educational grants, receives donations, while AIC is in a better position for political advocacy. AIC is the only member of FAIC, we are all members of AIC

Current Topics - Environmental Standards

One activity this year is the re-assessment of environmental standards. AIC cannot change or make up the standards, but they can form a committee or a task force to keep everyone informed. The IIC roundtable at the AIC 2010 meeting will give us a litmus test of how everyone feels about changing standards. Sustainability, Economics, protection of objects, need for access, we’ve reached this point by which we need to re-evaluate. AIC can be a resource and a place to put this information about environmental mangement and make it available to all members

CoOL - Conservation OnLine

Cool – COnservation OnLine has been taken over by FAIC. We would like it to be maintained made into a functional and growing resource. There are significant costs to maintain and operate the website. The site needs to be mapped, and there are numerous broken links on the site. If you find a broken link send it to Brett Rogers or Rachel Arenstein at AIC.

Who uses the resources in Cool? Mainly developing countries and conservation programs without library sources use cool as a primary source. AIC is looking to form an international board, and they have a strategic plan. Mapping will not be very expensive, but will require organization. They are looking at putting CoOL in other languages.

Ethics Complaints

There has been an increase in ethics complaints, now more than ½ the membership is in private practice. Meg encouraged students to use a contract for everything, write down changes and risks involved in treatments and have the owner sign the contract before the treatment and if there are changes add these in the margins and initial at the end when the object is returned. Since it is always not possible to predict if your client will like their object after it has been treated, be sure to outline how it will look post-treatment as much as possible.

How to get more involved - thoughts from Meg Craft and the students

The meeting ended with a discussion of how students could be more involved in AIC, Meg suggested joining a specialty group, becoming involved with Angel's Projects, helping out with the online projects as needed (CoOL, the Wiki), offering to edit JAIC, and/or writing a book review for the JAIC (bonus - you can keep the book! AIC has a stock of books waiting to be reviewed). For the journal information you can contact Brett Rodgers at AIC. It was also mentioned that we may begin a 'student day' at the AIC annual meeting which would offer a great opportunity for students to present their work.

Overall, it was a great introduction to AIC and what is currently on the President's desk. Thanks to Meg for taking time out of your lunch to update us all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Student blog about issues in conservation

Dear Colleagues,

I am currently teaching an undergraduate class called "Critical Issues in art conservation" to undergraduate students at the Johns Hopkins University. The course looks at issues in the history, ethics and contemporary practice of conservation and tries to grapple with how conservation changes art and artifacts, as well as our interpretations of them. As part of our course, the students contribute to a blog: One student posts a new reflection on the reading for that week and his/her colleagues respond by posting comments to the blogpost. I think that it would be tremendously interesting and exciting to this group of dedicated and serious students if some of the authors of the articles they are reading (and you can find a reading list as a link at the blog) would comment on their blog entries and perhaps suggest weblinks of interest. Part of what I was hoping for in this blog was that it would be an interactive forum for the students, conservators and the general public. I'd be most grateful if you would look at the blog and the reading list, and if the authors we are reading especially (but all are welcome to comment) would write something in response to the blogposts. There is also a little poll that is posted on the blog to get a sense of who is looking at it. If you would kindly take the poll, that would be helpful to understand our audience as well. New student posts appear every Monday, so please do check back!

Also, any suggestions for me on other readings that might be appropriate for undergraduates would be most welcome.

with thanks in advance,
Sanchita Balachandran