Specialty Group & Network Columns

Next column: Position Announcements >>

Note: H&S Network’s inaugural column appears in the Association News section, but thereafter will appear in this section of the newsletter. EMG and WAG did not submit a column for this issue.

Architecture Specialty Group (ASG)

ASG Leadership

The Architecture Specialty Group would like to welcome incoming ASG Program Chair Nicky Emery, who will be leading ASG programming efforts for the 2021 annual meeting. This was the first time in several years that ASG had a competitive election, so thank you to all who participated. If you are interested in being a bigger part of ASG, please consider running for a leadership position in the future. Current leadership is always happy to answer your questions if you’d like to know more!

2020 AIC Annual Meeting

ASG leadership would like to thank this year’s speakers in our specialty group sessions for their patience and enthusiasm as we navigate the new online format. ASG will present two full online sessions and the ASG/OSG joint session on historic houses has been broken into two sessions as well. This newsletter will go out in the middle of online programming, so be sure to catch up on what you may have missed or what sessions are still to come. ASG session dates are scheduled for June 23 and July 28. The ASG/OSG joint session will take place on June 15 and August 6. The ASG business meeting has not been scheduled as of this writing, but we anticipate it will happen in July or August so please watch for updates to the schedule online.

— Lacey Bubnash, Outgoing ASG Chair, l.bubnash@argsf.com

ASG Online: www.culturalheritage.org/ architecture-group 

Book and Paper Group (BPG)

For many of us, these last weeks have been full of uncertainty and growing concern for public health in our communities, employment, institutional continuity, civic institutions, and social justice.

2020 AIC Annual Meeting

The 2020 BPG meeting is now virtual and the schedule for online presentations throughout the summer is mounted on the AIC website. Plans for 2020 were skillfully reassembled by the talented and creative leaders within BPG; please join me in congratulating Eliza Spaulding, Andrea Knowlton, Saira Haiqqi, APDG, LCCDG, PubComm, and the rest of the BPG volunteers for their resourcefulness and creativity during the complicated transition. Many roles will overlap this summer to accommodate virtual conference adaptations and adjusted timelines.

Current Events

Things move so quickly from day to day that it is hard to keep up with current events. I am proud that my peers and fellow BPG members Anisha Gupta and Jennifer Hain Teper have been at the forefront of AIC’s Equity and Inclusion Committee’s work to improve the role of AIC at the intersection of culture and community. BPG unequivocally supports the statement that “a truly inclusive field cannot exist until we are committed to advancing historically excluded populations in our profession.”

BPG Leadership

Results of the recent BPG elections will be discussed at the BPG Business Meeting in late June and listed here:

  • Melissa Tedone will serve a two-year term (2020-2022) as Chair.
  • Katie Mullen will serve a one-year term (2020-2021) as Assistant Program Chair before assuming the Program Chair role next year.
  • The incoming officers will serve on the 2020-2021 BPG Executive Council with Andrea Knowlton (Program Chair 2020-2021) and Saira Haqqi (Secretary-Treasurer 2019-2021).

Several other BPG members in volunteer roles have completed or are beginning their two- or three-year terms. These include:

  • Wiki Book Coordinator, incoming Michelle C. Smith, outgoing Katherine Kelly.
  • Education and Program Committee Chair, incoming Melina Avery, outgoing Cher Schneider.
  • The ad hoc Financial Committee, Michelle Facini, Sarah Norris, Sue Murphy, and Jennifer Hain Teper have completed their efforts and will disband after submitting their recommendations to the current BPG Board.
  • BPG’s PubComm just posted the announcement asking for a BPG website coordinator to serve an appointed term. This role will be crucial as the BPG web presence responds to new technologies and an even stronger AIC communications presence.

Tea with BPG, Virtually

Thanks to those who participated on the five supportive “Tea with BPG” virtual chats on Zoom throughout late April and May, on Monday afternoons. Each event gave dozens of members a chance to join, talk, share insights, and strengthen friendships new and old. Most importantly, we acknowledged how vulnerable we all feel right now. We talked about COVID-related personal and job uncertainties. We met pets and admired knitting projects. We talked about digital fatigue. We talked about how to keep going when things are tough. We talked about keeping a “sunshine folder” of positive accomplishments and supportive emails and reference letters for dark days when you need a reminder that you’re not alone. We talked about resilience and what strength we found in our community and profession. We talked about the self-empowerment we received from pursuing Professional Associate or Fellow status. We talked about the energy we got from volunteering in AIC and other organizations in our professional and personal communities.

Thank You

I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve on the BPG in this extraordinary way this past year.

Thank you,

—Sarah Reidell, Outgoing BPGChair, sarah.reidell@gmail.com

Contemporary Art Network (CAN!)

CAN! Leadership

CAN! is pleased to announce Jen Hickey as our upcoming Assistant Program Chair for the 2020 -2021 cycle and Program Chair for the 2021-2022 cycle. Jennifer Hickey is a 2011 graduate of the Conservation Center (IFA, NYU). As a specialist in the study and treatment of modern and contemporary paintings, Jennifer has worked at a number of leading conservation studios, both private and institutional. Jennifer’s past research has focused primarily on the materials and process of postwar American painters, and she continues this in her current role as Paintings Conservator for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution.

2020 AIC Annual Meeting: Virtual Sessions

The scheduled contemporary art talks will be from July 16 to August 20, with a schedule arranged as follows:

  • CAN! External Forces in Contemporary Art Conservation on July 16 and July 27
  • CAN!/RATS on August 20
  • CAN!/EMG on July 16 and July 20

Full programming details can be found on: https://learning.culturalheritage.org/p/virtual-meeting-2020.

INCCA / CAN! Speed Mentoring session July 28, 2:00 p.m.

This session creates opportunities for short periods of one-on-one time with established professionals without all the normal distractions associated with conferences. Mentees can book a short individual session of 10 minutes with one of the mentors listed below. Each mentor will have time to meet with a maximum of four mentees. Mentoring sessions will take place on Tuesday, July 28, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The session is an opportunity to ask the mentor anything: You can talk about them, about you, or about the field in general. During this time, nobody will interrupt you, you will not have to pluck up the courage to introduce yourself or worry about how to get out of a waning conversation! At the end of the allocated time period, you will say farewell and allow the next mentee to have their turn.

If you are interested in booking 10 minutes with one of the following mentors, please send an email to J. Luca Ackerman at networkchair.can@gmail.com by July 22. You may give a first and second preference to accommodate schedule conflicts for your mentor. Requests will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis. Short biographies of each mentor can be found within the AIC online community and the CAN! community posts.


  • Michelle Barger, Head of Conservation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Francesca Esmay, Conservator, Panza Collection Initiative, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA
  • Per Knutas, Head of Conservation, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, USA
  • Christine Frohnert, partner at Bek & Frohnert LLC, Conservation of Contemporary Art, based in New York City, NY, USA
  • Jay Krueger, Head of Painting Conservation, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA
  • Pip Laurenson, Head of Collection Care Research at Tate, UK, and Professor of Art, Collection and Care at the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands
  • Chris McGlinchey, Sally and Michael Gordon Senior Conservation Scientist in the David Booth Conservation Department at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, USA
  • Kate Moomaw, Associate Conservator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Denver Art Museum, CO, USA
  • Sylvie Pénichon, Head of Photograph Conservation atthe Art Institute of Chicago, IL, USA
  • Flavia Perugini, Associate Conservator of Objects and Time-Based Media at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA

— J. Luca Ackerman, CAN! Chair, luca.ackerman@gmail.com

Collection Care Network (CCN)

2020 AIC Virtual Meeting

CCN has successfully moved its AIC annual meeting sessions online. Be sure to tune in for:

  • Current standards for storage materials on August 5
  • Big data on August 12
  • Research and Technical Studies, Collection Care, and Contemporary Art joint session on August 20
  • Emergency response on August 31

Be sure to also check out the recordings from CCN’s June sessions!

Participate in online resources

CCN would like to highlight how our allied professionals have helped us continue with collections care efforts and any creative solutions you’ve developed to address collection care needs. Please contact Kelly Krish at kmkpph@rit.edu to share your stories.

—Kelly M. Krish, CCN Editor, kmkpph@rit.edu

Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN)

2020 AIC Annual Meeting

The unprecedented effect of COVID-19 necessitated dramatic rethinking and restructuring of the AIC annual meeting, and ECPN strove to utilize online platforms to deliver educational content and establish peer-to-peer connections in a virtual setting. We could not have achieved these events without the support of FAIC and the University of Delaware. Through this support and the generously volunteered time of the AIC community, ECPN was able to deliver events that kept our community connected in this difficult time. ECPN hosted a Virtual Information Session and Town Hall where we were joined by the current president of ANAGPIC, Ellen Pearlstein. ECPN also hosted a virtual workshop, “Making the Ask: Developing Hard Skills and Negotiation Tactics in the Field of Conservation,” co-facilitated by Ariel O’Connor and Caitlin Richeson. Thank you to all involved for making our virtual session a success with special thanks to Ruth Seyler, Kate Lee, and all of our attendees for their energy and enthusiasm.

ECPN Leadership

I am pleased to announce the following appointments for the 2020-21 term:

  • Chair: Caitlin Richeson (ecpn.chair@culturalheritage.org)
  • Vice Chair: Jessica Betz Abel (ecpn.vicechair@culturalheritage.org)
  • Communications: Héctor J. Berdecía-Hernández & Leila Sabouni (ecpn.communications@culturalheritage.org)
  • Digital Platforms: Natalya Swanson & Marie Desrochers (ecpn.digitalplatforms@culturalheritage.org)
  • Outreach: Michaela Paulson & Ashley Stanford (ecpn.outreach@culturalheritage.org)
  • Professional Education and Training: Keara Teeter & Annabelle Fichtner (ecpn.pet@culturalheritage.org)

Congratulations and welcome to our new officers Héctor, Leila, and Marie! I am also pleased to report that Jessica Betz Abel will transition from Communications Co-Officer to the Vice Chair role.

Every year ECPN strives for a balance of representation from different specialty groups, geographic locations, training programs, and career stages. The strength of the officer applications we received for the 2020-21 term was impressive and resulted in a difficult selection process. Thank you to everyone who offered to serve.

Thank You

Thank you to all of our 2019-20 ECPN officers for your creativity and enthusiasm throughout the term. Special thanks to our outgoing officers Eve Mayberger, Emma Hartman, Candace Kang, and Marci Jefcoat-Burton. It has been a pleasure to serve ECPN with this team, their passion and dedication to the field has led to the growth of ECPN and exciting new initiatives.

In particular, I would like to thank Eve, our outgoing ECPN Chair, for her leadership and dedication to ECPN as Outreach Officer, Vice Chair, and Chair. I would also like to extend my thanks to Molly Gleeson, our supportive AIC board liaison, and Kate Lee, our committed AIC staff liaison, for helping us accomplish so much this term.

Liaison Program

In addition to our outgoing officers, I would like to thank everyone who served as an ECPN liaison for the 2019-2020 term. Through your hard work we have grown our liaison program to include 24 regional liaisons, 9 graduate liaisons, 11 specialty group liaisons, and 9 committee and network liaisons.

Please check the ECPN subsite to contact liaisons directly or view current liaison vacancies if you’re interested in volunteering.

Podcast Series

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, ECPN launched a four-part podcast series: “Conservators Combating Climate Change.” The series focuses on conservation professionals’ role in addressing climate change. ECPN’s Digital Platforms Officers Natalya Swanson and Emma Hartman speak with invited guests about how to enact changes in the field. Listen to the first episodes at: https://anchor.fm/conservatorscombatingcc.

I am honored to serve as your ECPN Chair for the 2020-21 term. Keep an eye out for new ECPN initiatives and resources on our various online platforms.

—Caitlin Richeson, ECPN Chair, ecpn.chair@culturalheritage.org

Objects Specialty Group (OSG)

OSG Leadership

Although the transfer of positions does not occur officially until our OSG virtual business meeting, we would like to announce the results of our recent election and acknowledge those transitioning into their new positions for the 2020-2021 term:

  • Chair Emerita: Jessie Arista
  • Chair: Fran Ritchie
  • Program Chair: Megan Emery
  • Assistant Program Chair: LeeAnn Barnes Gordon, newly elected
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Jessica Chasen, newly elected

As you all may know, the Rules of Order for our specialty group dictate that the Assistant Program Chair serves one year before transitioning to Program Chair (one year), then specialty group Chair (one year), and finally Chair Emerita (one year). The Secretary/Treasurer serves a two-year term. Thank you to Nina Owczarek for her meticulous service as OSG Secretary/Treasurer.

We also have two members who recently agreed to fill other volunteer roles in OSG projects:

  • Wiki editor: Robin O’Hern
  • Post-prints Co-editor: Mary Wilcop (joining Kari Dodson)

Thank you to our OSG Nominating Committee, Angie Elliottand Robin Croskery Howard, who work hard to find candidates each year. If you would like to self-nominate or nominate a colleague in the future, please reach out to Angie and Robin at any time. For a full list of OSG leadership, see our page on the AIC website.

—Fran Ritchie, OSG Chair (2020-2021), franritchie@gmail.com

Paintings Specialty Group (PSG)

As I write this, the world is a different place than it was three months or three days ago. The effects of a global pandemic and mass uprisings against racial violence and systemic injustice have challenged us. At the same time, they invite us to refocus and examine our roles and our agency in becoming a more equitable field as we reimagine the futures that we anticipated months ago. Our personal and professional networks are more important than ever, as are our opportunities for continuing education, outreach, and (perhaps most important of all) our capacity to preserve and interpret the material evidence of our histories and the present.

PSG Leadership

In this moment of change, I’m so grateful for the new members of the PSG who have volunteered to serve for the coming term, and it’s my privilege to step in as chair. We welcome:

  • Kathryn Harada as Assistant Program Chair
  • Jose Lazarte Luna as Secretary and Treasurer
  • Bianca Garcia as a member of Nominating Committee

I want to also thank the outgoing officers:

Megan Salazar-Walsh, who will be joining the Nominating Committee, Rita Berg, Noelle Ocon, Erin Stephenson, and Gwen Manthey. Wendy Partridge will continue to serve as Postprints Editor.

—Cindy Schwarz, PSG Chair, cynthia.schwarz@yale.edu

2020 AIC Annual Meeting

So far, our virtual annual meeting has been a great success, with a large number of members joining from all over the world to watch the live streaming presentations. PSG sessions are being held 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET on June 15th, July 2nd, and August 19th. If you miss the live stream you will still be able to watch a recording online for a limited time. The AIC staff and volunteer leaders have done an excellent job of navigating this unprecedented and urgent shift in our annual meeting format. I especially want to acknowledge PSG Program Chair Erin Stephenson and Assistant Program Chair Mary Catherine Betz for their graceful handling of the situation.

The PSG Business Meeting will also occur virtually on July 22nd at 1:00 p.m. ET, followed by a fun social activity and a raffle! More details will be shared in the PSG online community. Please join us if you can; the PSG officers really welcome your input every year during the business meeting. We will be discussing the budget and changes to the PSG Rules of Order, among other topics. I hope to “see” you there!

Megan Salazar-Walsh, Outgoing PSG Chair, psgchair1@gmail.com

Photographic Materials Group (PMG)

PMG Leadership

I would like to welcome our new officers: Ronel Namde (Secretary/Treasurer) and Amanda Maloney (Assistant Program Chair) who will serve the group for the next two years. Amanda Maloney will work as Assistant Program Chair for the first year and become Program Chair the second year. We could not be happier and more pleased with the work of our Nomination Committee, led by Barbara Lemmen, and our colleagues for their willingness to collaborate by serving our specialty group.

Katherine Sanderson will continue as Program Chair for one more year; I will take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the terrific work she accomplished by putting together the PMG program for the AIC Annual Meeting and adapting it to the virtual platform currently used to deliver the entire program. I want to give a special thank you to Heather Brown, who is concluding her term as Secretary/Treasurer with outstanding contributions to the group including her tireless support and guidance to new Officers.

A comment about the new PMG Rules of Order, which comply with the general format proposed by AIC for all specialty groups and include the newly created position of Assistant Program Chair: You will soon have the opportunity to review the new Rules of Order and vote during our next Business Meeting.

PMG Winter Meeting

I would like to announce here that we have postponed our next PMG Winter Meeting so that it will coincide with the 2021 AIC Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, FL. We are sure that the 2021 meeting will please and (hopefully) exceed our membership expectations in all regards, including content, programing, innovative proposals, and workshops offered. The decision to postpone the PMG Winter Meeting and merge it with the AIC Annual Meeting resulted from thoughtful discussion among the officers and took into consideration the preference of our membership for full integration of both programs. 

—Fernanda Valverde, PMG Chair, chair.pmg@gmail.com

Research & Technical Studies (RATS)

All of us have been touched in some way by the unfolding crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, often profoundly, as livelihoods are lost and colleagues and loved ones are affected. As the RATS membership and the larger AIC community adapt to the challenges, restrictions, and uncertainties of the current moment, it is hoped that our professional organization can continue to provide meaningful opportunities to learn from and connect with one another.

2020 AIC Annual Meeting
For this year’s annual meeting, RATS planned an ambitious program including two joint sessions with the Collections Care Network Materials Working Group (CCN/MWG) and the Contemporary Art Network (CAN!), in addition to the regular RATS session. These joint sessions mark the first ever times that RATS has collaborated with these networks to present current research. With many thanks to the nimbleness and flexibility of AIC staff and scheduled speakers, RATS, CCN/MWG, and CAN! will host a total of 12 talks in staggered sessions this summer. Of particular note, Dr. Peter Brimblecombe, visiting professor to the School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, will close the August 20th joint RATS/CCN/MWG session with his talk on the long-term impact of climate change and pollutants on collections. For the full schedule of talks, please visit: https://learning.culturalheritage.org/p/annual-meeting-2020#tab-product_tab_contents__18.

RATS and IWG Partnership
Following discussions this spring, RATS plans to partner with the newly charged AIC Imaging Working Group (IWG). The IWG Group is established in recognition that imaging is important to the ethical and evolving practice of conservation, and to develop a professional basis to support conservators with information about the growing number of imaging, technologies, applications and practices. The group aims to support the conservation community in imaging-related topics and endeavors by increasing communication and encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration; to identify and address (through sustainable collaboration) the challenges that conservators encounter related to imaging resources, practices and objectives; and to encourage a consistently high level of conservation imaging by providing resources, solutions, and community through testing, training and standardization.

RATS Leadership

RATS officers are pleased to welcome Jane Klinger, Chief Conservator of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as the new Assistant Program Chair. Jane’s term will begin following the RATS Business Meeting.

—Gregory Bailey, RATS Program Chair, gbailey@thewalters.org; Matthew Clarke, RATS Chair, clarkem@si.edu; and E. Keats Webb, IWG Chair, webbekeats@si.edu

Textile Specialty Group (TSG)

2020 AIC Annual Meeting: TSG Virtual Sessions

The TSG sessions will be held on July 30, August 3, and August 11 with the TSG/WAG joint session taking place on July 30. The TSG Business Meeting will take place on Friday, August 7th. For the most up-to-date information and to join the virtual meeting, go to the AIC Learning module at: https://learning.culturalheritage.org.


Keep an eye out for membership voting on the TSG community for approval of the business meeting minutes and the new Rules of Order. For those who do not (or cannot) vote online, an “in-person” vote will also be held during the TSG online business meeting.

Scholarship News

AIC 2021 is the last year for the TSG Scholarship and for the committee. Since there were no applicants for the 2020 annual meeting, the total amount of available scholarship money will double to $3,000 for one year. The portal will open in the fall and the deadline for application submissions is December 15th; as this year’s meeting winds down and we gear up for the next meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, start thinking about the possibilities for you or someone you know.

TSG Leadership

  • Beth Szuhay will be the Program Chair for AIC 2021
  • At the close of the business meeting, Julia Carlson will move into the Chair Emerita position and Ann Frisina will become Chair
  • Rebecca Stern has agreed to stay on as Treasurer for another two-year term
  • The new ECPN liaison is Kris Cnossen
  • Jennifer Cruise and Kaelyn Garcia will co-edit the TSG wiki

Please join me in welcoming everyone into their new positions and thanking them for their dedication to TSG.

—Julia Carlson, Outgoing TSG Chair, thejgcarlson@gmail.com

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