Call for Papers: Collaboration with Artists in the Preservation of Artistic Heritage: Theory and Practice

The Electronic Media Group (EMG) and Objects Specialty Group (OSG) of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) join with the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art –North America (INCCA-NA) to call for papers for a special joint session on the topic of collaboration with artists at the upcoming AIC Annual Meeting in Miami, FL, May 13-16, 2015.
Recognizing that artists have a stake in the legacy of their work has shifted conservation practice in recent decades.  Moreover, it is possible to maintain a critical art historical discourse while also integrating the voices and opinions of the artists within preservation strategies for their artworks. The mission of organizations like INCCA-NA has been guided by the possibilities of this shift. Increasingly, these practices are flourishing at major museums across the country.
Many conservators are actively seizing opportunities to interview and otherwise interact with artists. This session seeks to provide a venue for novice and experienced practitioners alike, from conservation and allied preservation-related fields, to share their outlook on and practice of collaboration with artists and their associates.
Topics to address may include but are not limited to:

  • The AIC Annual Meeting theme of “Practical Philosophy or Making Conservation Work” What are the practical considerations in collaborating with artists? How does theory translate into practice and how does practice inform theory?
  • What is the value in collaborating with artists?  How has practice supported this?
  • Interview tips and techniques.
  • Collaboration with artists beyond the interview.
  • Case studies.
  • Collaboration with artists in the preservation of ephemeral materials, obsolete media, and installation art.
  • Finding time and resources for an artist interview program.


How to Submit an Abstract

Email your abstract in Microsoft Word (NOT as a pdf) to Ruth Seyler, AIC Membership and Meetings Director, at
Please send an abstract of 500 words maximum, along with a bio of 300 words maximum per author to Ruth by Wednesday, September 10, 2014. In the case of multiple authors, please list all authors and include an email address for each author. If you have questions or would like to discuss an idea for a session, please contact Ruth Seyler.
You may also submit your abstract for consideration for other sessions at the AIC Annual Meeting, as detailed below.
Please indicate your first choice session for your submission as “EMG/OSG/INCCA-NA Joint Session”.
Session Types
Abstracts will be considered for the following session types.
General Sessions – General Session papers must specifically address the meeting theme.  Recent efforts to provide a variety of session formats will continue and authors accepted for general session presentations may receive requests to participate in lightning rounds or concurrent general sessions.

Specialty Sessions – Specialty Session papers are encouraged to address the meeting theme but may also explore other topics relevant to that specialty. Specialty sessions will include: Architecture, Book and Paper, Collection Care, Electronic Media, Health & Safety, Objects, Photographic Materials, Paintings, Research and Technical Studies, Sustainability, Textiles, and Wooden Artifacts.

Poster Session – Posters may address the meeting theme, but presenters can also address their current research interests. Posters are presented in the Exhibit Hall.
Submission Guidelines

  • You may submit an abstract for a combination of the three session types: General Sessions, Specialty  Sessions, or Poster Session. You may submit your presentation to only one or two sessions if you so choose.
  • If you are submitting a Discussion/Interactive Session, please submit only for that, since the format is not compatible with the other General Session choices
  • Please indicate on the abstract the session/sessions for which you want the paper to be considered.
  • Please limit your choices to three sessions and rank them in order of preference. For example, your preferences could be one of the following:
    • 1st Choice: General Sessions, 2nd Choice: Objects Session, and 3rd Choice: Wooden Artifacts Session
    • 1st Choice: General Sessions, 2nd Choice: Poster Session, and 3rd Choice: Book and Paper Session
    • 1st Choice: Photographic Materials Session, 2nd Choice: Electronic Media Session, and 3rd Choice: Research and Technical Studies Session
    • 1st Choice: Book and Paper Session, 2nd Choice: Book and Paper Session, 3rd Choice: Book and Paper Session
    • 1st Choice: General Sessions – Concurrent Interactive/Discussion Session
  • When listing your three session choices, please remember that if you are interested in a joint session you only need to list that as a single option. For example: if you want your second choice to be the Book and Paper and Photographic Materials Joint Session, don’t list it as either Book and Paper Session or Photographic Materials Session but list it as the Book and Paper and Photographic Materials Joint Session.