Blog at the 2016 AIC-CAC and win!

Each year we receive feedback from colleagues who couldn’t make it to the annual meeting that write-ups of the talks posted here on were interesting and informative.  For the past few years we had so many fabulous concurrent session that even those present at the meeting couldn’t attend all the talks they were interested in and found that they could get a taste of what they missed using the blog.  Our blog sees a huge increase in traffic due to annual meeting posts with almost 600 unique visits per day.  We know that many colleagues are looking forward to hearing more about the conference and hope that some of you will volunteer and share your thoughts from the meeting.

AIC-CAC-AM2016How To Sign-up:

Signing up is easy.  Just click on the link below to access the signup spreadsheet:
There is a separate tab down at the bottom for each SG or session.  Next, input your name and email next to the talk you are interested in covering.  Easy!  The limit for signup is two talks so that nobody feels overwhelmed.

What’s In It For Me?

Many people take notes at the talks and writing them up is a great way to organize your notes and thoughts while doing something great for your colleagues and the field.  Speakers are often grateful for the feedback.  And, yes there is something in it for you…all volunteers who complete two posts will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE 2017 ANNUAL MEETING REGISTRATION!

What do I need to know about Blogging?

Not much!  All volunteers will be sent AIC’s Guidelines and Blogging Tip Sheets.  Writing a good blog post can take some time but covering a just two talks is very manageable.  Here are a few things to know:

  • You do not blog in real time so you don’t need a laptop or internet access at the conference– the best way is to take notes and then write up your thoughts later (ideally by the end of the conference or shortly thereafter).
  • You need not be an experienced blogger nor particularly tech savvy.  The WordPress blog format is extremely easy to use and any necessary hand-holding will happily be provided to make you feel comfortable online.  If you can send an email – you can create a blog post.
  • There is no pressure to be particularly witty.  Active tense, first-person and personal style are all encouraged in blog posts – this is a chance to free yourself from the writing constraints of condition reports!  While all posts should be professional overall, the tone is somewhat between reporting and “what I did over my summer vacation”.  The best posts tell why you were interested in the topic and what you learned, you aren’t expected to be writing the speaker’s postprint so you don’t need to capture every detail.  The goal is for readers to learn more about the talk than they would gain from the abstract.  Tips and Guidelines will be provided for all volunteers.
  • In addition to the talks we also value reviews of the workshop, tours, receptions and other associated events and sessions.

I Have Some Questions Before Signing Up – Who Do I Talk To?

Contact Rachael Arenstein, AIC’s e-Editor either via email or the Email AIC’s e-Editor box in the footer of this blog.

Sustainable preservation survey for library and archive collections

This survey focuses on sustainable preservation methods that can create efficiency, environmental consciousness, and effective management to maintain libraries’ and archives’ collections. The Sustainable Preservation Survey is an effort to continue the conversation about sustainability and where preservation needs are most apparent within libraries and archives. Lindsay Schettler, Special Collections and Content Management Librarian and the 2016 ALCTS’ Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant recipient, will present this survey data and illustrate holistic sustainable preservation practices at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference Poster Session.
As preservation standards and practices are crucially embedded in library and archival workflows, understanding all sustainability options is vital. This survey will assess current sustainable preservation practice and evaluate the future role of sustainability in library and archives preservation programs. General preservation topics are explored, focusing on basic sustainable preservation practices offering the library and archive community an idea of current practices.
Preservation is a core function in collection care and management, providing longevity and access for materials found in special collections and archives. Preservation practices include several steps during the physical processing of the material, including description, condition reports, stabilization, reformatting, and rehousing. Sustainable preservation initiatives derive from a holistic approach to collection care and management, providing a chance to understand the breadth of a preservation program, and find the areas that can be adjusted to incorporate sustainability, such as recycling, slow conservation, supply waste, climate control, processing strategies, reusable methods and material, local partnerships and programs, and community engagement.
The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Only one person from each institution is needed. Your feedback is vital.  Participation is voluntary and the survey can be stopped at any time. Please send any questions to Lindsay Schettler.
This survey will close June 3, 2016.
Sustainable Preservation Survey HERE!

Arsenic and Old Lace: Controlling Hazardous Collection Materials

Are there hazardous materials in your collection, but you don’t know what to do with them? Or do you think you might have problem materials lurking in your collection that you don’t even know about? Learn how to handle these problems – join us May 3, 1:30 ET  for our next free Connecting to Collections Care webinar.  Register olnine at:
Connecting to Collections Care (, a program of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, provides free collections care training and resources for smaller-sized cultural organizations.

Conference Review – Subliming Surfaces: Volatile Binding Media in Heritage Conservation

This review was written by Tony Sigel, Conservator of Objects and Sculpture, Harvard Art Museums and originally published in ICOM-CC Scientific Research Working Group Newsletter, Vol. 1, No.1, 2015.  It is posted here with permission of the author.

April 15–16, 2015
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Organized by the University of Cambridge Museums, this conference provided the first opportunity for the profession to gather, share papers and posters, and discuss volatile binding media (VBM), principally cyclododecane (CDD). Combining invited and submitted papers and posters, participants came from Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Attendees were presented with critical reviews of use; current research; and case studies from a broad range of conservation disciplines. The conference began with an overview presented by the organizers, “Subliming surfaces: the first 20 years.” The program was then divided into sections.
Reviews of VBM’s in practice featured:

  • case studies of use (mainly CDD) in archaeological fieldwork;
  • the cleaning of fossil vertebrates;
  • wall painting and fresco conservation;
  • easel painting consolidation;
  • textiles, book and paper conservation;
  • archaeological ceramics desalination;
  • and the mounting of sensors in historic buildings.

VBM’s under scrutiny discussed:

  • chemical purity;
  • the sublimation rate and its relation to paper characteristics;
  • the consolidation of ceramics to be desalinated;
  • longterm use in archaeological contexts,
  • and as an enhancement for tetrahertz imaging of frescoes.

Many presentations raised questions of health, safety, and environmental concerns, and the talks presented in this well attended section generated much discussion. The speakers pointed out CDD’s low persistence in the environment, the difficulty of bioaccumulation sufficient to be a hazard, lack of mutagenic or eco-toxic effect, and lack of toxicity to humans. Nevertheless, the conservative nature of, well, conservators, caused many to remain concerned about possible risk, particularly due to fairly relaxed suggestions regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilation.
The poster presentation, containing many worthy presentations, was well attended. Highlights of the conference were its meticulous organization and the determination of the organizers, Christina Rozeik and Sophie Rowe, who made sure there were generous opportunities for questions and discussion between talks as well as extended conversations throughout the day, at meals and during breaks.
Standouts were guest lecturers Hans Hangleiter and Leonie Saltzmann, who presented “20 years of Volatile Binding Media.” Hangleiter was part of the original German group which first developed the use of volatile binding media in conservation in the early 1990s. They discussed these origins, less well-known alternatives to cyclododecane, and ingenious uses for these materials that they have developed in their conservation practice. The lecture was followed by a reception in the Fitzwilliam Museum and private view of the exhibition, Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. The conference concluded on Friday with conservation lab tours and a half-day practical workshop on the use of cyclododecane and other VBM’s. The workshop was so well attended that an additional session was added to meet the demand. Participants had the opportunity to try cyclododecane with a variety of tools in a range of situations across conservation disciplines. Afterwards, experiences were shared at a cozy wrap-up session over tea. Altogether, this was one of the most practically useful and well-organized conferences I’ve attended. The collected postprints will be presented in an online publication, and should prove to be essential reading for conservators from many disciplines.
For addition information on CDD and Volatile Binding Media visit the AIC wiki page.


Penn Museum Symposium
6-8 October 2016
Call for papers and posters – Deadline: 4 April 2016
The Conservation Department of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the fall of 2016. To commemorate the establishment of the lab, the Penn Museum is hosting a symposium on issues relating to archaeology, anthropology, and conservation. The symposium will explore how conservation of these materials has evolved over the past half century, the ways in which conservators may inform and support the work of archaeologists and anthropologists, and the development of cross-disciplinary engagement.
Professionals in archaeology, anthropology, or conservation are encouraged to submit abstracts (300 word limit) to by 4 April 2016 for consideration. Presentations will be 20 minutes. Funds toward travel and lodging are available for speakers. Successful applicants will be required to submit the full text and presentation by 30 September 2016. A resulting peer-reviewed publication is planned. Please visit for further guidelines and instructions.
Recommended topics to consider, though others are welcome, include:

  • History of archaeological or anthropological conservation, particularly in university museums
  • Facilitating collaboration between conservators and archaeologists or anthropologists, or other interested parties
  • Planning for conservation in the development of an excavation plan, including funding conservation in the field
  • Education and training
  • Treatment techniques
  • Analysis of materials

In addition to full-length papers, we also invite short-format submissions on topics listed above as well as those related to practical tips and techniques, insights, or questions relating to the symposium theme. Please submit abstracts (300 word limit) to by 4 April 2016 for consideration. These submissions are limited to 5 minutes or less, and an informal approach is appropriate. Successful short-format applicants will be required to submit a digital copy by 30 September 2016 and will be included in the publication following the same guidelines as the full-length papers.

Job Posting: Conservator – Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem

Job postings ImageThe Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem anticipates hiring for the position of Objects Conservator to care for in-house collections and loans held at the facilities at Givat Ram, Jerusalem. Our collections focus mainly on archaeological objects from the ancient Middle East, Mesopotamia and Egypt, and include materials such as ceramics, stone, glass, wood, ivory/bone and metals. The conservator will work with the museum registrar and curatorial team to maintain up-to-date records of the collection and with the museum designer and the maintenance team to install and dismantle exhibitions.
Conservator duties:

  1. Recording and photography of objects and maintaining digital records (both for in-house objects and for incoming or outgoing loans)
  2. Conservation (preventive and interventive) of objects and collections
  3. Environmental monitoring and control (RH, temperature and lighting)
  4. Storage and display improvement
  5. Conservation Lab maintenance: ordering supplies and maintaining tools in working order, as well as dealing with the annual safety inspection. Applicants should have an understanding of chemical health and safety issues.
  6. Cooperation with the museum designer in installing and dismantling exhibitions and improving the permanent display.
  7. Cooperation with visiting researchers (preparing objects for research and following up on the information given by the visitors regarding objects in the collections)
  8. Cooperation with the museum registrar and the curatorial team to further establish museum records for objects and collections

Requirements include:

  • Fluency in English and Hebrew both oral and written
  • A degree in conservation with a specialization in archaeological objects
  • 5+ years work experience in conservation of archaeological material, both inorganic and organic
  • Computer proficiency (Office windows programs, Photoshop and digital photography are a must. Experience with collection databases or FileMaker Pro will be a desirable addition)
  • Ability to work both independently in and with other museum staff as necessary

Cover letters and full Curriculum Vitae should be sent to:

STASH Flash III Storage Tips Session – May 14, 2016

The 2016 STASH Flash storage tips session at the Montreal annual meeting will AIC2016-meetinghave three themes:

  1. Building on the conference theme the first group of presentations offer solutions for emergency or disaster situations like flooding or earthquakes.
  2. Building on a topic that came out of the 2015 STASH Flash discussion session and the TSG Tips session, the second proposed theme focuses on multi-function supports, with functions serving more than one purpose, such as storage, storage, travel and/or exhibition purposes.
  3. Additional innovative storage solutions for individual or collections will be presented in the third grouping.

Presentations will be posted on the STASH site after the meeting.


Name: Rustin Levenson, Veronica Romero, Oliver Watkiss, and Kelly O’Neill
Institution: ArtCare, Miami
Object/collection type: Paintings
Abstract: When we moved into our new space, we designed an art storage rack that we felt would offer the best protection for works in our care if we faced a hurricane. The shell of the rack is plywood. The interior is divided into slots by reinforced PVC piping, which allows air to circulate freely. Clear vinyl flooring on the bottom of each slot protects paintings from the wood and provides safe access. The rack is on large wheels, which would allow us to move to the driest area in the studio if the roof is compromised and lock when the rack is in place.  A sail maker designed a waterproof, zipping cover for the rack.  The cover has extra material, which allows room for a dehumidifier, which could be powered by a generator.
Name(s): Nichole Doub, Head Conservator
Institution: Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory
Collection Type:   Waterlogged wood
Abstract: When a runaway barge collided with navigation markers on the Nanticoke River last spring, the Coast Guard called the resulting debris a hazard to the commercial waterway and ordered Maryland State Highways Association to remove the timbers.  When the divers started to haul up the timbers, it was a surprise to find a 30 foot section of a ship’s keel.  Suddenly, it was a rush to salvage as many timbers before the disturbed wreck site was washed out to the Chesapeake Bay.  With no plans for funding, staff, excavation, curation, conservation, viability surveys etc., an above ground pool with a custom made bubbler system became a very quick, inexpensive, and effective temporary storage solution.
Name: T. Ashley McGrew
Institution: Cantor Art Center at Stanford University
Collection Type: Dimensional Art /seismic restraints
Abstract: Working in a seismic zone, we have to take steps to keep a potential geological event from becoming a disaster for our collection. Presented are two systems we use for restraining 3D objects on shelving in collection storage. In both applications the designs focus on ease of use to help insure compliance with established storage protocols. We utilized 1” nylon webbing for strength in both small and large object storage solutions. Small object storage pairs the webbing with ¼” polyethylene netting which is secured using plastic snap buckles. In large object storage the webbing is sewn together to make “cargo netting” which is secured with carbineers, either to the uprights of pallet racking, or to custom-made removable metal brackets designed for use on heavy-duty cantilever shelving.


Name: Jennifer Torres, Kate Gallagher & Sanchita Balachandran
Institution: Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum
Object/collection type: Small archaeological objects
Abstract: The Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum is a teaching museum that encourages the use of the collection for teaching, study, and research by faculty and students. Accessibility and visibility are both important factors in rehousing objects to serve these purposes. The collection contains thousands of small archaeological objects and limited storage space. A “file” storage system was developed to house these objects and to save space. This storage design is best suited for robust objects, particularly Egyptian faience amulets and small Greco-Roman metal objects that would be difficult to access and would consume too much storage space with traditional rehousing methods. Objects are placed in polyethylene zip bags lined with Volara and tied to a piece of corrugated blue board of standard size using twill tape. Each object/board is then “filed” into a custom-made box that fits in our storage drawers. The backside of each board is lined with thin Ethafoam to mitigate damage to the object behind it. This storage method allows for maximum visibility and accessibility, and minimizes the unnecessary handling of the object and disturbance of other objects that are not pertinent to the study or research at hand.
Name: Emily Wroczynski
Institution/Affiliation/Title: Shelburne Museum
Object/Collection Type: Wooden artifacts, Bird Decoys
Abstract: The Dorset House at the Shelburne Museum is currently undergoing renovations funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The historic structure has been the exhibition space for the Museum’s expansive bird decoy collection. The conservation department is taking this opportunity to examine the decoy collection and perform needed treatment before it returns to display. The installation within the renovated Dorset House has not been finalized, and the decoys will continue to be housed in storage for about another year. A versatile mount (similar to a sink mat) was designed in discussion with the curator, which would function in storage and could easily transition for exhibition in Dorset. The exciting challenge of this project was to create a footprint that did not greatly alter the aesthetic profile of the object, while at the same time provided ample support. The curator’s input was instrumental in choosing a method of covering the mount that made it polished without a complex technique or expensive materials.
Name(s): Emily Eifert Brown
Institution: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Collection Type: shells, travel/storage mount
Abstract: A complex storage housing was built for an oyster shell presented in a delicate gold and silver gilt mount, which is in the collection of the Walters Art Museum.  The housing served three important functions: the ability to safely hand-carry the object from Winterthur, Delaware to Baltimore, Maryland; the ability to safely and efficiently store the object while disassembled in multiple parts; and the ability to scavenge for airborne pollutants, thus preventing tarnishing of the delicate and difficult to clean metal components.  The streamlined design took into account storage space restrictions and materials specifications required by the Walters Art Museum.  Design features of the housing include a shelf within the main box, blue board inserts upholstered in Pacific Silvercloth, and buried rare earth magnet closures.
Name(s): Kesha Talbert, Pam Young and Lauren Gottschlich
Institution: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Collection Type: Handheld Fans
Abstract: Conservators and interns at Colonial Williamsburg have been creating dual purpose storage and display mounts for folding handheld fans which are part of the costume and textile collections. The fans are composite objects of wood, ivory, paper, textiles and/or metal with unique risk factors for study or display due to their function of folding and unfolding. In an effort to decrease handling and the associated friction and movement of components supportive mounts have been created to house the fans in storage which are also acceptable for display. The mounts are custom made for each fan to provide adequate support for both leaf and sticks. Archival products including Alpharag matboard, folderstock, ethafoam and sueded polyethylene were used in the creation of the mounts. A step-by-step guide was created to allow future interns to easily replicate the process.
Name(s): Stephanie Gowler, Graham Patten, Carlynne Robinson and Susan Russick
Institution: Northwestern University Library Preservation and Conservation Work Group
Collection Type: Archival
Abstract: Project Description: The Charlotte Moorman collection at Northwestern University Libraries is the core of a major exhibit at Northwestern’s Block Museum, soon to travel to NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and on to the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg.  Because much of this unwieldy archive of Avant Garde art from the 1960s had never been fully processed, we wanted to develop an exhibit mount that could also be used for travel and storage.  One solution that worked for several objects was sewing the objects onto padded boards.  Boards were constructed of Tycore, Volara and cloth.  Objects were sewn on using a variety of threads – a delicate process that could require 3 conservators.  Mounts allowed for easy handling and installation as well as security for the multi-part objects at each venue. Ethafoam®, corrugated blue board, and Hollytex® quilts were used to pad and clamp the boards inside of boxes for travel. Many of the objects will eventually be stored, mounted, in their travel boxes.
Contributor(s): William Bennett
Institution: Smithsonian Institution Archives
Collection Type: Photographs
Abstract: The Archives recently received an early gelatin print which is mounted on a friable, acidic board. The brittle ensemble has cracked completely in half, with small pieces flaking away from the breakage point. There is also damage evident on the lower portion of the photograph, possibly from blocking. The top and bottom edges of the photograph and support are also curling upward due to differences in expansion and contraction of the two materials. A custom housing was designed and created, and is composed of three elements—a base in which the photograph sits, a magnetic over-mat that gently restrains the curling edges of the image, and a protective cover mat. The base is also composed of three layers, divided into two pieces that fit together like puzzle pieces with tongue-and-groove joints. This solution provided adequate support to the broken photograph; facilitated easy removal of the image from its housing without abrading the edges, by sliding the pieces of the base apart; and restrained the curling edges of the support. The cover mat may also be folded completely behind the base and is thus suitable for display.
Name: Liz Peirce
Institution/Affiliation/Title: Winterthur Museum and Garden, Kress Conservation Fellow
Object/Collection Type: Hough’s American Woods – 14 Volume set, 1888 edition
Abstract: Hough’s American Woods is a rare collection of thin sliced wood samples suspended in heavy cardstock pages. These pages are currently stored as a loose block within a three-quarter wrap cover slid into a slipcover held closed with a decorative clasp. The loose pages make removal for study difficult, cumbersome, and potentially damaging to the delicate samples. To remove the block, the pages must be grasped and compressed to slide out of the case. Damage to the pages has already been noted; several samples within each volume suffer from cracks and losses due to improper handling and storage. Rehousing for this collection (starting in February 2016) will provide stability and support for the samples. It will include a four-flap wrapper with both a warning to researchers about the unbound nature of the samples as well as handling instructions to prevent further damage. Once wrapped, the volumes will be stored in individual clamshell boxes which will support the block on all sides and prevent shifting. The original wrap and slipcase will be preserved and all relevant information on the book plates will be scanned, copied, and kept with the new rehousing. Rehousing will make the collection easier to access for research as well as display within the library should exhibition be desired.


Name(s): Alicia Ghadban
Institution: Re-ORG, former CCI and ICCROM Intern
Collection Type: Various
Abstract: The RE-ORG methodology was developed by ICCROM with the support of UNESCO to assist smaller museums (under 10,000 objects) who do not have access to external expertise and whose collections are at serious risk due to overcrowding and poor storage conditions. In September 2015, ICCROM held an international RE-ORG workshop in partnership with the Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) and the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage (CACH). The workshop was hosted by the Wuhou Shrine Museum (Chengdu, China) and allowed participants to gain practical experience implementing a RE-ORG project. The host museum presented an ideal case study for the RE-ORG project as objects could be found directly on the floor, collection and non-collection items were stored in the same rooms, sub-collections were displaced in various rooms, and part of the ceramic collection had been stored on unsecured wooden shelves though the museum was located in an earthquake prone region. This presentation will outline the solutions devised and accepted by staff members of the Wuhou Shrine Museum as they lowered the risk to collections and provided improved working conditions for museum staff members. The solutions included the following: adaptation of metal shelving units, reuse of existing furniture, relocating and grouping sub-collections, removing non-collection items from the storage, and ensuring no objects were on the floor by utilizing platforms on wheels.

Name(s): Gretchen Anderson, Linsly Church, Amy Henrici
Institution: Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Collection Type: Oversize collections, Vertebrate Paleontology
Abstract: Keeping dust off of specimens in open storage is always a challenge, particularly in an old building in an urban environment.  In 2014 the Carnegie Museum of Natural History received a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to improve storage conditions for type specimens in the vertebrate paleontology collection. Some of these specimens are large slabs embedded in plaster with wood frames.  These are very heavy and difficult for scientists to access.  In the past the specimens were covered with plastic sheeting in a wood frame to protect them from water drips and dust.  Through time the deteriorating, opaque plastic made the specimens impossible to view without removing the cover. Our new method uses a polyester film window in a rigid box lid, to improve visibility of even the largest and heaviest blocks.  With a slight modification, the method is easily adapted for three dimensional models or objects.
Name(s): Gretchen Anderson, Deborah Harding, Lesley Haines
Institution: Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Collection Type: Oversize collections, large items
Abstract: Protecting large and irregularly shaped objects from dust, water and other environmental conditions that put them at risk is a challenge. Large and awkward objects are often stuck in corners or on top of cabinets and draped with plastic sheeting. The sheeting is often in direct contact with the object. As the sheeting ages, it deteriorates, becoming brittle and chemically unstable, causing additional damage to the object. At the Science Museum of Minnesota Anderson and Newberry developed an inexpensive and easy to construct a support for dust covers using PVC pipe, corrugated plastic sheet. The support prevents the dust cover from touching the object, allows for airflow and reduces other risks. New materials such as Tyvek™ can be is used to replace plastic. Anderson continues to adapt the system at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History where the Anthropology Department is using it for large objects.
Name: Erika Range
Institution/Affiliation/Title: Conservation Student (previous CMN Intern)
Object/collection type:  Natural History Labeling
Abstract: Choosing the right substrate, attachment method, inks and printing technologies are critical to ensuring that the information remains intact and associated with an artifact or specimen.  In natural history collections, labels often contain original data not found elsewhere, so their preservation is as important as the specimens. The Canadian Museum of Nature houses over 10 million specimens requiring a vast variety of labeling methods.  A recent survey at the Canadian Museum of Nature revealed three types of labels typically used in natural history collections, and also attempted to adapt standards to help clarify to collections staff what to buy and how to use it, as they adopt new technologies for labeling.  Three ‘Decision Trees’ were created to guide collections and conservation staff and volunteers with choosing the right tool for the right job, and highlights standards and best practices for materials in archives and some simple tests for quality control.

Samuel H. Kress Foundation AAMC Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome

Applications for the 2016 – 2017 Fellowship are now open
The purpose of The Samuel H. Kress Foundation AAMC Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome is to provide essential funding for curators to develop projects that require research in Italy.  The program, launched in 2014,  is intended to honor exceptional curatorial vision and help curators advance deserving projects.
“Establishing this Fellowship offers curators the ability to explore further important scholarly research by gaining access to sites and material within Rome.” said Max Marmor, President, of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. “Support for travel research is more and more a rare opportunity for many curators, and we are honored to offer this opportunity, which supports our mission to promote the professional work of curators.”
“The AAMC is truly grateful to have partners, such as the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and American Academy in Rome, that share our organization’s mission, which includes a dedication to the curatorial field,” added former AAMC President (2013 – 2015) Emily Ballew Neff. “We are thrilled to present to our members, through the generous support of the Kress Foundation, such an outstanding and rewarding opportunity to advance their research.”
The AAMC is grateful to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for its support.

  • Open to AAMC members in good standing, including full-time institutional curators, independent curators and adjunct members.
  • Research can be exhibition related or for written scholarly work, but should not be in conjunction with completing a dissertation.
  • Applicant is required to list preferred period of residency, indicating a first and second choice.
  • A letter of support from institution director, project director and/or host of project.
  • Priority will be given to those in institutions without funds to support research travel.

Dr. Hilliard Todd Goldfarb, Associate Chief Curator and Curator of Old Masters, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  Dr. Goldfarb will utilize the Fellowship to further his research on Faith, Death and Eternal Life in the Art of Poussin (working title).
Download the 2014-2015 Affiliated Fellow Press Release
Judith Mann, Curator, European Art to 1800 at the Saint Louis Art Museum to further her research for Painting on Stone, 1520-1800.

Download the 2015-2016 Affiliated Fellow Press Release
About the Samuel H. Kress Foundation:
The mission of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (est. 1929) is to sustain and carry out the original vision of founder, Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955). The Samuel H. Kress Foundation supports the work of individuals and institutions engaged with appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of the history of European art and architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the modern era.
About the AAR:
The American Academy in Rome (AAR) supports innovative artists, writers and scholars living and working together in a dynamic international community. The encounter with Rome represents now, as it has done since the Academy’s inception, something unique: a chance for American artists and scholars to spend significant time interacting and working in one of the oldest, most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The richness of Rome’s artistic and cultural legacy and its power to stimulate creative thinking served as the initial impetus for the Academy’s founding. Today, those tendencies live on, transformed as ever by the dynamism of the Academy’s constantly evolving community. The community includes Fellows, Residents, Visiting Artists and Scholars, and, come June, members of academic Summer Programs.


Joint Interim Conference of the ICOM-CC Working Groups: Wood, Furniture, and Lacquer and Sculpture, Polychromy, and Architectural Decoration, kindly supported by the German Association of Conservator-Restorers (VDR) Specialty Group: Furniture and Wooden Artifacts.
Hosted in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam

Access the conference website

Date:         8-10 April, 2016
Location:   University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Set within the historic gardens and palaces of Potsdam, this conference will focus on site-specific wooden works of art of a composite nature. Included in this broad theme are the exploration of the purpose and the complex means used to create these works consisting of multiple elements and mixed materials as well as the conservation strategies designed to preserve and display them.
This three-day conference will bring together an international roster of conservators, art historians, conservation scientists, and artists to share new research, past experiences, and their specific and varied expertise.
The conference will be divided into two days of presentations and followed by a day with guided tours of historic sites, museums and conservation studios. Lunch and coffee breaks will be accompanied by posters displayed in the main hall.
Presentations will focus in sessions on the following themes:
–    Assemblages in-situ: Architectural interiors
–    Conservation in-situ: Methods and challenges
–    Assemblages set in the museum context: Western, non-western and religious
–    Innovative techniques for documentation, conservation technology and analysis
The conference will be held in English


Friday April 8th
Keynote lecture – Speaker TBD
The paradise bed & the painted chamber of Westminster Palace c.1486
Helen Hughes
Charlemont medal cabinet (1767-68) designed by Sir William Chambers: A consideration of its past and future
Paul Tear
Conservation and recreation: The restoration of Sir John Soane’s private apartments at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Helen Dorey, Lyall Thow, Jane Wilkinson
Tegel Palace (1822-1826): A unique survival of the interiors designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel for Wilhelm von Humboldt
Martina Abri, Jörg Weber
The hall of catalogues and the hall of globes: The laser scanner survey and data collection of two complex 19th century libraries located within the Accademia delle Scienze, Turin
Stefania de Blasi
The Junkerhaus (1850-1912), Lemgo – An exposed wooden house and its contents: A review of the preventative conservation measures installed in 2001-2004
Norbert Grote
The Eremitage of the Neuer Garten in Potsdam: Investigation of the interior panelling and the original appearance
Gerald Grajcarek
Modern methods of documentation for conservation: Photogrammetric evaluation of historic recordings
Gunnar Siedler, Sebastian Vetter
The scientific investigation of 18th and 19th polychrome furniture from the collections of the House of Esterházy, at Esterhazy Castle, used to inform conservation-restoration decisions
Sabine Stanek, Martina Griesser, Václav Pitthard, Susanne Kaefer, Florian T. Bayer
Capturing the history of finishes: A documentation tool for architectural paint research
Edwin Verweij and David Edvardson
Choir stalls (1537) from Transylvania: A conservation challenge saving every millimetre – the use of 3D laser scanners and digital techniques for their reconstruction
Gerdi Maierbacher-Legl, Christine Fiedler, Gunar Grossmann
Saturday April 9th
A rococo room from a Grachtenhuis in Amsterdam (1743-1748) in the Rijksmuseum: The reinstallation of the original fittings – and a streak of sunlight
Paul van Duin
The Bernstorff Suite at The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Its presentation and interpretation from the 18th to the 21st Century
Cynthia Moyer
The Period Rooms in the Swiss National Museum, Zurich: The 1898 installations conserved and reinstalled
Gaby Petrak
Building Backwards: Ornament defines structure in the installation of the Worsham-Rockefeller bedroom (1881) at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
F. Carey Howlett
“Are you still cooking or already eating?” – The reinstallation of a Frankfurt kitchen (1926-1931) provides a new understanding of built-in furniture of the period
Christian Dressen
Petioles, paint and steel: The conservation and re-installation of the Mariwai Village Kwoma ceremonial house ceiling at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007
Beth Edelstein, Christine Giuntini
The Alhambra Cupola in the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin:The history of a 14th century wooden ceiling, current conservation challenges and new prospects for a Nasrid masterpiece
Julia Gonnella, Anne Mollenhauer, Jutta Maria Schwed
Ornate panels from 18th and 19th century Damascene ʿajamī interiors: Conservation issues and Western perceptions of the ‘Orient’ revealed
Anke Scharrahs
Three Baroque Altarpieces in the Church of Our Lady in Aarschot (Belgium): Insights into the working methods of Antwerp sculptor and designer Pieter Scheemaeckers
Ingrid Geelen
The investigation and treatment of a 17th century wooden Jain Shrine (house-temple) from Gujarat, Western India
Part 1. Context
Part 2. Treatment

Kathleen M. Garland, Kimberly Masteller, John Twilley, Cathleen Duffy
Sunday April 10th
Several post-conference tours will be offered to allow participants to explore museum collections and conservation projects in Potsdam and Berlin.

Getty Workshop Series – Current Issues in Photograph Conservation

Octopus, 2007, Tim Hawkinson, Inkjet digital foam collage. © 2007 Tim Hawkinson. Commissioned by JPGM.
Octopus, 2007, Tim Hawkinson, Inkjet digital foam
collage. © 2007 Tim Hawkinson. Commissioned by JPGM.

The nature of photography is evolving. Rapid and transformative innovations are both exciting and challenging for conservators. The profession needs to find ways to effectively share current knowledge and research to reach caretakers of these changing and growing collections.  The Getty Conservation Institute is pleased to announce a new series of workshops that focus on topics relating to the contemporary conservation treatment of photographic materials.
Current Issues in Photograph Conservation is designed primarily for mid-career conservators who work with photographic materials. Instructors in the series are preeminent experts in the field. Through lectures, discussions, and practical work, they will elucidate the various aspects of a given topic throughout each intensive workshop.
The first workshop in the series – The Digital Print: Contemporary Practice, Identification, and Preservation— will be offered from July 25 – 29, 2016 at the Getty Villa in Malibu, California.
For additional information and to complete an online application, go to: