A free public presentation on recovering wet art and cultural materials will be held Sunday, November 4 from noon until 2 p.m. at The Museum of Modern Art . Speakers from the American Institute for Conservation Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT), along with conservators from MoMA, will provide suggestions and answer questions on how to safely handle and dry wet materials such as paintings, drawings, books, sculpture, and other artistic and cultural works. The consortium will take place in MoMA’s Celeste Bartos Theater, in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, 4 West 54 Street, New York.
The presentation is designed to be of special help to the many artists and galleries whose works were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
MoMA has also issued a document, Immediate Response for Collections, that offers guidelines for dealing with art damaged by flooding. It offers step by step measures that can be taken to conserve artworks in a variety of mediums that have been damaged by water, including library and archive collections. It also includes a list of suppliers and emergency services that can provide some of the services listed in the document. The document is available on the Museum’s web site, MoMA.org.
The American Institute for Conservation (AIC), the national association of conservation professionals, is offering free emergency response assistance to cultural organizations.
* Call AIC’s 24-hour assistance number at 202.661.8068 for advice by phone.
* Call 202.661.8068 to arrange for a team to come to the site to complete damage assessments and help with salvage organization.
AIC-CERT volunteers have provided assistance and advice to dozens of museums, libraries, and archives since 2007. AIC-CERT teams were on the ground following Tropical Storm Irene and flooding in Minot, North Dakota in 2011, the Midwest floods in 2008, and in the Galveston area following Hurricane Ike later that year. AIC-CERT members and other AIC conservators participated in an 18-month-long project in Haiti assisting with recovery of cultural materials damaged in the 2010 earthquake.
AIC-CERT is supported and managed by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC). In 2007 and again in 2010, FAIC received funding from the Institute of Museum & Library Services to support an advanced training program for conservators and other museum professionals that resulted in a force of 107 “rapid responders” trained to assess damage and initiate salvage of cultural collections after a disaster has occurred. They are ready to assist.
Resources and information on disaster recovery and salvage can be found on the AIC website at www.conservation-us.org/disaster. The public can also call AIC-CERT at 202.661.8068. Donations can be made at www.conservation-us.org/donate.