Job Posting: Engen Conservation Fellowship in Objects Conservation at the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum

Fellowship appointments are for 1 year with the potential for a 1 year renewal. They commence in the fall and include a $37,000 stipend, with additional funds up to 5,000 for medical insurance, relocation, research related expenses, conference registration and travel. The fellowships take place at the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory in the Udvar Hazy Center in Chantilly VA.
Start / End dates: October 1, 2016- September 30, 2017.
Funded amount: $ 37,000.00
Deadline for application: March 1, 2016
*There is limited public transportation to the Udvar Hazy Center- a car is highly recommended for this position.
Fellowship Description
The National Air and Space Museum holds over 60,000 artifacts representing three centuries of aerospace history from 18th century ballooning to current spacecraft. While NASM is best known for the collection of rare and historically significant aircraft and spacecraft, these artifacts represent less than one percent of the entire collection. The collection also includes 5000 works of art, spacesuits, engines, textiles, toys and much more. The fellowship will introduce the candidate to a wide range of composite objects, metals, organic materials and painted surfaces.
The fellow’s independent research will be derived from the diverse collection materials. Fellows will be encouraged to publish or present their research at the end of their tenure. Access to other Smithsonian conservators, conservation scientists and analytical capabilities at the Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) will also be available.
The fellowship is intended to contribute to the education of recent graduates by allowing them to continue research into traditional historic objects and delve into the complexities of working with modern composite materials.
Candidate Qualifications
The ideal candidate will have a Master’s degree in conservation from a recognized program and be able to conduct research independently. The candidate should have knowledge of ethical and professional principles and concepts related to the preservation of objects in a wide variety of media and knowledge of the theories, principles, techniques, practices, and methodologies used to examine, study, treat, and preserve historic objects.
Applicants should have a proven record of research, writing ability, and proficient English language skills (written and spoken). Finalists will be invited for an interview and asked to submit a portfolio.
Application materials required:
– A brief research proposal. The research proposal can be related to collection materials or an evaluation of a treatment process (no more than 2 pages, 12 point font). Please include a budget request for research related expenses, and conference registration. The maximum research allowance is $5,000.
– Curriculum vitae including basic biographical information with current and permanent addresses, telephone numbers, and email address.
– Unofficial transcripts of both undergraduate and graduate courses of academic study. Please send an explanation of the evaluation system if your transcript is from outside the United States.
– Two references from conservation professionals familiar with the candidate’s work.
– A writing sample such as a condition report, or examples of published work.
Fellowships are awarded without regard to age, sex, race, or nationality of the applicant.
Applications are submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) Select the “Engen Conservation Fellowship” listed under the National Air and Space Museum to submit your application materials.
For questions about this opportunity please contact Malcolm Collum, Chief Conservator at
We are excited about the opportunity to provide this fellowship experience and look forward to receiving your application materials.

Collaborative project at the University of Cape Town, South Africa

Posted on behalf of Sanchita Balachandran
Please participate in a collaborative project with students completing the “Honors in Curatorship” course at the University of Cape Town, South Africa!
This week, we are exploring various issues in the field of conservation, and are engaging with writings both from conservation journals and beyond. As a way to think through topics and questions that come up, we’ve been posting snippets, links, videos, images, etc. on a Tumblr site. The exciting thing about a Tumblr site in this case is that it can be brief and dynamic and hopefully more interactive with other people thinking about related issues. I’d be most grateful if you’d post some of your thoughts, comments, encouragements, etc.
The site is:
If you’re new to Tumblr or don’t want to post with your own account, I’d be more than happy to post things on your behalf if you simply email them to me.
Many thanks for your encouragement and support of these young South African professionals,
Sanchita Balachandran

IIC 2015 Student & Emerging Conservator Conference – Registration open!

Warsaw, Thursday 15th & Friday 16th October 2015
IIC 2015 Student & Emerging Conservator Conference – Registration open!
IIC’s third Student & Emerging Conservator Conference will be held on the 15th & 16th October 2015. Following on from the successful 2013 (Copenhagen) and 2011 (London) Student & Emerging Conservator Conferences this conference will allow those at the start of their professional journeys the chance to discuss and explore the three areas of:
– Differences in the conservation education systems of different countries and how these can help – or not.
– The first steps after a graduation: supplementing academic qualifications with practical training, workplace / job experience and volunteering. Mentors and Trade Union / Professional Body support.
– The Conservator with more than five years’ experience: specifically, how can networking make a difference for younger professionals (under 35) and what national / local legal barriers have been encountered by them?
As with all of IIC’s Student & Emerging Conservator Conferences, this event will aim to offer an international perspective and to facilitate communication between student/emerging conservators on the one hand, and professionals active in the field of conservation, in national institutions and museums as well as in the private sector. The conference aims to create a platform where the discussion of current needs in conservation and the relationship between expectations and reality can be discussed.
Plus studio visits, a social programme.
The themes discussed will be supported by organised visits to some of central Warsaw’s major conservation studios.
There will also be a chance to socialise at the evening receptions on the Thursday and Friday, and lunch is included for the Friday.
The presentations will be held in the form of collaborative Web Broadcasts, which will allow an international community of speakers and participants to take join the conference, either in person or online. There will also be dialogue between the speakers and the audience, including those attending via the web. Conservation professionals active in the private sector as well as in museums/institutions will discuss their experience and address the concerns raised, will give their views on the future of the profession, and the evolution of conservators’ responsibilities. Experienced conservators will address the issues of presentation skills, portfolio creation and use and language skills, as well as getting started in a career and the international aspects of conservation work.
The conference will provide an excellent platform for the exchange of ideas among those studying conservation, archaeology, art history, heritage studies and related disciplines, people who are soon to share the professional responsibility for a wide array of heritage-related issues.
The conference has the very generous support of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and its Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art.
For registration and more details please go to

IIC Los Angeles 2016 Congress – final call for papers and poster proposals

IIC 2016 Los Angeles Congress-logo_0
Conserving contemporary art? You now have until the 15th of July … to save the Now!
Contemporary Art delivers contemporary problems to the conservation community…and may mean that we deconstruct and re-invent ‘standard’ conservation thinking and practice.
Saving the Now: Crossing Boundaries to Conserve Contemporary Works, IIC’s next Congress, to be held from the 12th to the 16th September 2016, links so very well with its setting, Los Angeles, in allowing things to be looked at in very different and new ways.
This can be a minefield – or a source of new and creative approaches to heritage conservation. As we move ahead with new artists, new materials, new concepts of what creativity is, we must adapt what conservation involves and tries to achieve. We may borrow from other areas of skill and expertise in doing this. We may change our concepts of what conservation is there to do in the first place …
What are your thoughts, your experiences, your predictions? Let’s start you off here:
• How do you work without the benefit or comfort of that well-established hierarchy of values available to colleagues working on more traditional heritage objects?
• Are you working with a range of different and varied conservation philosophies and approaches – from various countries and cultures, from differing disciplines and markets – to develop new methods for conserving contemporary works?
• What will we lose if your major guiding principle is the artist’s intent? If it is known at all, that is …
• Can
the commercial art market help influence Institutional thinking on conservation?
• How is public art influencing conservation practice and theory?
• Are the ethics and values used in conserving the built heritage applicable to the conservation of moveable heritage ¬– and vice versa?
• Can approaches used for conserving ethnographic collections be applied to contemporary art practice?
• Can non-materialistic philosophies help to move the field forward in broader terms?
Submit your proposal for a paper or a poster now! It’s easy: go to Share your expertise and learn first-hand what your colleagues around the world are doing!
A call for Student posters will be made later in the year.
Please contact us at if you have any questions or wish to receive further information on the Congress

Memorial Tea for Kathy Ludwig at Archives II on June 19 at 1 pm

Posted on behalf of the Conservation Division at the National Archives and Records Administration
Kathy's photo

It is with profound sadness that we tell you of Kathy Ludwig’s passing on Saturday, May 16, 2015 after a long struggle with cancer. Until her retirement in July 2014, Kathy had served as a Senior Conservator in the Conservation Laboratory at the National Archives for 17 years. Prior to joining the staff of the National Archives, Kathy was an Archives Conservator at the Minnesota Historical Society.
In preparation for her work in conservation, Kathy earned degrees in Art History and Studio Arts from the University of Minnesota, and completed one year of training in art conservation at the Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy. Kathy was in the first class of conservators who graduated from Columbia University’s Conservation Education Program with a MS in Library Service with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Library and Archives Conservation.
Kathy was passionate about her work. She continued to study and learn throughout her career, taking workshops and seminars on subjects ranging from papermaking to disaster planning and response to the history and making of parchment. Kathy always generously shared the knowledge she gained, with others. She developed and taught numerous preservation classes over the years to National Archives staff and volunteers and also imparted her knowledge of materials and conservation techniques to interns and other conservators.
Kathy loved her work at the National Archives. She was a highly skilled conservator and over the years treated thousands of records, including such significant documents as the Monroe Doctrine and the Delaware Ratification of the Bill of Rights. A valued member of NARA’s conservator-on-call team, Kathy conducted independent research on drying methods, and assisted with the recovery of Orleans Parish records following Hurricane Katrina.
Most importantly, Kathy was a good friend and a valued colleague. She was a thoughtful and reliable presence who always made us smile. We will miss her.
Please join us as we celebrate and remember Kathy on June 19, 2015, from 1:00 to 3:00 in Lecture Rooms D and E at Archives II. If you have questions, please contact
Archives II is located at 8601 Adelphi Road in College Park, MD 20740. Directions and information can be found at

Blue Shield – Statement on Yemen

3 June, 2015
The Blue Shield offers its unequivocal support for the United Nations Secretary General’s statements (26 May 2015). We agree that the only durable resolution to the current crisis in Yemen is an inclusive, Yemeni-led, peaceful transition process towards a negotiated political settlement. We share his aspiration that a long and lasting peace can be achieved as quickly as possible so as to alleviate the current intolerable humanitarian situation.
We also offer our total support for UNESCO’s Director General’s calls on all parties to protect Yemen’s unique cultural heritage.
Over the last few days and weeks there have been extremely worrying reports of destruction of cultural property including the bombing of the World Heritage Site of the Old City of Sana’a and the old city of Sa’adah, which is included on Yemen’s World Heritage Tentative List; the bombing of the Dhamar Museum; the reported damage to the archaeological site of the pre-Islamic walled city of Baraqish; and the reported targeting and destruction of the 1,200 year old mosque of Imam al-Hadi, located in the city of Saada; or the reported damage to the 10th century BC historic castle of Al-Cairo (Al-Kahira or Al Qahira), overlooking the city of Taiz; and the destruction of the Marib Dam.
We urge all parties, and in particular Yemen and Saudi Arabia, which are both States Parties to the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, to abide by the terms of the 1954 Convention. We ask that they not use cultural property for military purposes, to refrain from any targeting of cultural property, and to avoid wherever possible any collateral damage to cultural property.
The world needs to take humanitarian action to help protect those who have been most harmed by this conflict and to help to protect the remains of their, and our, common past.
The Blue Shield
The Blue Shield is the protective emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention, the international treaty formulating rules to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts. The Blue Shield network consists of organisations dealing with museums, archives, libraries, monuments and sites.
The International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS), founded in 1996, comprises representatives of the four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in this field:
• The International Council on Archives (
• The International Council of Museums (
• The International Council on Monuments and Sites (
• The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (
Email: /
Please also view the website.
This statement can be viewed and downloaded here:

Heritage Preservation Programs Transition to FAIC

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Washington, DC — April 27, 2015 — Throughout its 33-year history, first as the National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property and then under its current name, Heritage Preservation has fulfilled its mission to preserve the nation’s heritage for future generations through innovative leadership and educational agendas. It has steadily advocated for the protection of cultural heritage by creating programs, publications, and easily accessed products that advance the field of conservation and serve the needs of allied preservation professions.
Heritage Preservation’s programs have been tested and proven. Hence, they are trusted and highly valued. Their loss would be severely felt throughout the cultural heritage community. Research undertaken over the past six months indicates that several synergies exist between the programs of the DC-based Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) and Heritage Preservation. For this reason, following the recent vote by Heritage Preservation members approving its dissolution as of June 30, 2015, several popular Heritage Preservation programs will transition to FAIC, thus ensuring their continuation.
Programs That Will Move to FAIC
FAIC will administer and lead three primary emergency planning, preparedness, and response programs currently offered by Heritage Preservation: Alliance for Response (AFR), State Heritage Emergency Partnership (SHEP), and Risk Evaluation and Planning Program (REPP). FAIC will also promote the annual MayDay campaign in 2015 and into the future. Heritage Preservation’s plan to develop an app called the Disaster Assessment Reporting Tool (DART) is on hold until funding is obtained to develop a prototype.
Transfer of the Connecting to Collections (C2C) Online Community program, and other activities related to the statewide preservation planning and implementation program developed and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), with programmatic assistance from Heritage Preservation, began in December 2014, and has been fully implemented as C2C Care.
FAIC is in the process of hiring additional programmatic and support staff, as well as part-time contractors, to ensure that former Heritage Preservation activities will thrive. Four key Heritage Preservation staff members will be retained, allowing uninterrupted access to their expertise.
Heritage Preservation’s joint award with the College Art Association was presented in February 2015 in New York City. The College Art Association and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) have agreed to form a partnership in time for the 2016 award. It is hoped that a new organizational arrangement for the joint Heritage Preservation/AIC Ross Merrill Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections can be announced prior to the 2016 award cycle.
Although FAIC will not directly oversee Heritage Preservation’s Save Outdoor Sculpture! and Rescue Public Murals programs, existing digital materials from these and other initiatives will be hosted on FAIC’s Conservation OnLine (CoOL) website to ensure continued access.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives, the Campbell Center, the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, the Washington Conservation Guild, the University of Maryland Archives, Conservation Resources Management, and the George Washington University Libraries graciously agreed to accept library and archival materials so that they may continue to be put to good use.
After April 30, 2015, the Heritage Preservation Board of Directors will:

  • donate the intellectual property rights for the name and logo of Heritage Preservation to FAIC;
  • transfer copyrights and inventory of all Heritage Preservation publications and products to FAIC so that these important resources can continue to be distributed;
  • work with FAIC to arrange for mail, product sales, and the website URLs to be redirected to FAIC;
  • and allocate all unencumbered monies and transfer unspent funds, as appropriate, to FAIC when the closure of Heritage Preservation is completed.

Other Key Heritage Preservation Programs
The completion and successful delivery of Heritage Health Information 2014, funded by an IMLS grant award with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Getty Foundation, and others, will continue to be Heritage Preservation’s principal activity for the first half of 2015, with results tabulated and disseminated to the cultural heritage community by summer 2015.
The IMLS Conservation Assessment Program (CAP), managed by Heritage Preservation, will close on April 30, 2015. Further information about this program can be found at
Plans are underway to place the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, of which FAIC is an active member, under the jurisdiction of a federal agency.
Additional Information
Questions or comments regarding the status of Heritage Preservation programs may be directed to Tom Clareson, Acting President, Heritage Preservation (, or Eryl Wentworth, Executive Director, Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (
To download the announcement, please go to

Statement of ISIS Destruction of Cultural Heritage from AIC Board President, Pamela Hatchfield

It is with great horror and sadness that we learn about the continuing destruction of mosques, shrines, churches, temples, historic sites, and cultural treasures in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. This senseless destruction is fueled by the misguided notion that we are not bound by a common humanity, empathy, and intelligence. These heinous acts cause us to consider the critical importance of cultural heritage – it is our shared history, and the act of destroying it is an attempt to destroy the identities of not only the cultures and religions it represents, but also the rich diversity of the evolution of humankind. Even worse, the treasures not destroyed are being sold to finance the continuing efforts of ISIS. The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage at Nimrud, Mosul, Hatra, and elsewhere is considered cultural genocide. The current obliteration of heritage in Iraq has been described by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova as a war crime which cannot be tolerated. We call to action all the nations of the world who ratified the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of Armed Conflict.
What can we do? Contact your senators and members of congress and ask them to support the Hague Convention.
– Pam Hatchfield, AIC President

Changes Afoot: Connecting to Collections Becoming Connecting to Collections Care


JOIN US, Thursday,  January 29, 1 – 2:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time

As of January 1, the management of the Connecting to Collections online community passed from Heritage Preservation to the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC). The features that you, the collections community, have enjoyed over the years – online forums, links to vital resources, and a free series of webinars – will continue. FAIC welcomes your thoughts on how Connecting to Collections can continue to serve your needs in the coming years.
This highly interactive, free webinar will introduce you to some changes that will be coming, give you the opportunity to meet us, and will offer you the opportunity to provide guidance on what webinar topics might be of most use, how the forums can be even more responsive to your needs, and what additional resources you might like to see.
Why Participate?
This is your first opportunity to meet the new team and to let us know what you have liked and found especially valuable about Connecting to Collections and to let us know how you would like to see this program grow. We welcome your feedback and want your ideas on how best to serve this community in the future.
Presenters include:
Eryl Wentworth, FAIC and AIC Executive Director
Eric Pourchot, FAIC Institutional Advancement Director
M. Susan Barger, FAIC C2C Coordinator
To register, please go to:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Conservation and Exhibition Planning: Material Testing for Design, Display, and Packing

The Lunder Conservation Center and the Foundation for the American Institute for Conservation, present
Conservation and Exhibition Planning: Material Testing for Design, Display, and Packing
Double beaker
Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture
McEvoy Auditorium
800 G Street NW (8th and G Street)
Washington, D.C. 20001
This two-day event, hosted by the Lunder Conservation Center, on November 19 and 20, 2015, will be an opportunity for exhibition designers, mount makers, registrars, collection managers, conservators, and scientists to explore the challenges of how materials are selected for use with art objects.
The planning for appropriate collection care before, during, and after display is dependent on accessing reliable information about the materials we use. The production of fabrics, painted surfaces, mounts, foams, and board materials present many opportunities for the creative display of art objects. Understanding how these materials will react with artworks over time is a fundamentally challenging, but necessary, undertaking.
This conference will seek to convey practical considerations that facilitate and benefit collection care in museum exhibition workflows, and how they impact staff across departments. We hope to focus a large part of this conference on advances in the field of conservation science, in order to grant participants access to the available resources that address the challenging question of how the materials used in display and storage environments interact with the objects contained within. A particular focus of the conference will be the interpretation and sharing of analytical results from Oddy testing and alternatives to the Oddy test.
Call for Papers: Deadline March 13, 2015

  • Original papers are invited for submission to focus on case studies and advances in:
  • Designing exhibitions and fabricating display furniture
  • Strategic approaches to collection care during the exhibition implementation process
  • Designing storage environments
  • Conservation work spaces
  • Aspects of material testing: including Oddy testing and alternatives to the Oddy test
  • Monitoring how materials change over time

Authors interested in presenting a paper should submit an extended abstract (400 – 600 words) by (March 13, 2015) to Christopher Wayner ( Your work should be original and not previously published. Contributions of work-in-progress are also welcome. The abstracts will be reviewed by the conference committee and authors will be informed by May 2015.