Say Yes to Service

Spring is coming, believe it or not, and nominations committees are currently canvassing our membership, looking for people to run in the spring elections. Sadly, most of the people they ask will follow Nancy Reagan’s instructions to the letter: they’ll just say no.
Friends, service work for AIC is not a highly-addictive drug that will destroy your life. Consider saying yes. Everyone seems to focus on how much extra work is involved in service. It’s true: service positions do involve work. Also true: most don’t involve that much work. And nobody ever talks about the fact that this work is often very interesting, that you might actually like it.
For example, as a member of the Education and Training Committee, I review scholarship and workshop applications from our entire membership. As a result, I get a broad overview of what people in all sub-disciplines are doing and it’s fascinating. The ETC also gives me the opportunity to work on bigger issues in our field, and in doing so I get to collaborate with conservators who have completely different experience and perspectives.
I’m also currently the program chair for the Objects Specialty Group. This isn’t the first time I’ve chaired conference sessions and I’m going to tell you a secret: it’s crazy easy and highly rewarding. Do I occasionally devote nights or weekends to reading abstracts, papers, and corresponding with authors? Yes. Is it interesting and worthwhile? Also yes. There is no better way to hear talks you want to hear than to chair a session and choose them yourself. This year for OSG, we had over 70 abstract submissions and not a single one of them was bad. With room for only 18 papers, the review committee had to make difficult decisions. As depressing as it is to reject 50+ good talks, think about the flip side: from 100% inspiring, solid submissions we were able to choose the papers we thought had the most to offer.  As program chair, I was also able to plan a cocktail party for our group.
Admittedly, there are truly bad times to take on service responsibilities. Maybe you have a new baby, or a new job, or someone in your family is very sick. But if you’re simply waiting for the right time, the good time, then stop. It’s not coming. Two years from now you will not be lying on the couch eating bonbons and thinking, “hmm….I have so much leisure time….now might be a good time to do some service for AIC.” We’re all busy. I work a 55-60 hour a week job and, like all of us, have a life outside of work/conservation. But I make time for service.
There are a lot of reasons to say yes to service work: you’re interested in a particular initiative, you want to give back, you want to be in a position to effect change. I do it because I like it. Think about it. You might like it, too. 

Call for Papers: ASOR 2014

“Conservation and Site Preservation in the Near East”
American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Annual Meeting
San Diego, CA, Westin Hotel, November 19-22, 2014
This session will be co-chaired by Suzanne Davis and LeeAnn Barnes Gordon Please feel free to contact them to discuss possible paper proposals or to request further details regarding the session.
The goal of the session is to create a forum where archaeologists and conservators can share research, exchange ideas, and discuss issues impacting the conservation of Near Eastern artifacts and sites. Contributors’ presentations will examine regional and national trends in conservation as well as site-specific programs. Presenters will also consider how political instability and the need for economic development are impacting the preservation of archaeological heritage in the Near East. Generous discussion time will engage the contributors and the audience, creating a dialogue that will ultimately improve conservation of artifacts and sites in the Near East.
This session will be the third of four in a series on conservation at the ASOR annual meeting. To read AIC blog posts about previous sessions, follow these links: 2012 in Chicago, IL: and 2013 in Baltimore, MD:  The ASOR annual meeting also features sessions on cultural heritage management, ethics and policy, and museum collections, in addition to sessions focused on archaeology and site preservation in specific geographical regions. The full list of sessions for 2014 can be found here:
Interested speakers should submit a talk title and abstract (max. 250 words) by February 15th via ASOR’s online abstract submission system, a link to which can be found here Membership in ASOR is required for submission. 

Archaeological Conservation at ASOR 2013

Three weeks ago LeeAnn Barnes Gordon and I co-chaired a conservation session at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) in Baltimore, MD.  Friends, I loved every minute of it.
This year the session, titled “Conservation and Site Preservation in the Near East,” kicked off at 8:20 in the morning on the very first day of the conference.  We were concerned about the early start time, but attendance was good and the audience was engaged and responsive. This was the second in series of 4 planned sessions, and I’ll tell you about our lofty goals for the series a bit later. First, here are the 6 papers from this year, with a few notes from me about each:
Preserving Egypt’s Cultural Heritage: Experiences Gained and Lessons Learnt”
Michael Jones (Antiquities Conservation Project, American Research Center in Egypt)

I was surprised to learn in this talk that ARCE’s fantastically comprehensive conservation and education programs in Egypt, underwritten by USAID, all began as a simple salvage response to the deadly 1992 earthquake. Michael spoke about building stakeholder support for conservation in Egypt, about the challenges of recent political turmoil, and showed us the wonderful results of conservation efforts at the Red Monastery in Sohag, among other sites. If you don’t know much about ARCE and its conservation programs, read more here.

Training for the Conservation and Management of In Situ Mosaics: The MOSAIKON Initiative”
Leslie Friedman (Getty Conservation Institute), Jeanne Marie Teutonico (GCI), Kathleen Dardes (GCI), Thomas Roby (GCI)and Zaki Aslan (ICCROM)

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about mosaics preservation, MOSAIKON is improving and teaching it. How to do a great job with locally available materials? They’re on it. Training for the next generation in-country? That, too. Conservation education in Arabic? Yes! Mentoring for conservators in the Middle East? Of course. What about my favorite site preservation solution, reburial? They’re studying the most effective ways to do it for mosaics. And of course, they are producing publications about it all. Check it out here.

Digging on the Edge: Archaeology and Conservation at Kourion, Cyprus”
William Weir (University of Cincinnati), paper delivered by Stephen Humphreys

This site-specific case-study delivered great information and dramatic visuals of mosaics perched precariously on cliff-edge. It detailed, from the archaeologists’ perspective, the experience of working with conservators to document and save mosaics at a site. It also illustrated the complexities of conservation at archaeological sites; within a single site, the response to each mosaic differed depending on the mosaic’s location, construction, and the project’s ongoing research. A great talk illustrating successful collaboration in archaeological conservation and research.

Painted Roman and Byzantine Cypriot Tombs: Properties, Processes and Preservation”
Ioanna Kakoulli (University of California, Los Angeles), Christian Fischer  (UCLA), and Demetrios Michaelides (University of Cyprus) 

This was an excellent talk for anyone interested in conservation of wall-paintings; these Cypriot rock-cut tombs have undergone structural damage from shifting bedrock and water damage from floods and rainfall. Ioanna also discussed the technical analysis of plaster, pigments, and binders for the paintings. This talk was also great for anyone interested in preservation and management of active tourism and pilgrimage sites: littering, vandalism, education and interpretation! How about making your conservation plan work for nearby hotels as well as an active monastery? Done. This talk detailed a comprehensive approach to a complex series of problems.

Dilemmas in Preservation of Iron Age Sites in the Valley of Beer-sheba”
Zeev Herzog (Tel Aviv University)

Zeev’s talk beautifully, and humorously, detailed the decades-long effort to preserve mud-brick architecture at the site of Beer-sheba in Israel. An unusually inventive series of campaigns beginning in the 1960’s tried almost everything the determined teams could think of: chemical consolidation, firing the bricks in-situ with a portable kiln, capping the walls with new mudbricks, and, finally, capping and restoration with modern, fired bricks. In addition to illustrating a half-century of conservation and site preservation at a single site, this talk explored preservation and interpretation goals for important Iron Age sites in Israel.  

The Conservation and Technical Analysis of Ancient Near Eastern Objects at the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum”
Sanchita Balachandran (Johns Hopkins University)

As a conservator in a university archaeological museum, I’m always impressed by the JHU Archaeological Museum’s (and Sanchita’s) commitment to linking conservation to undergraduate teaching and using object-based projects to improve learning for students. This talk was especially useful because it had detailed case-studies of specific objects and projects. I especially liked the way Sanchita used these projects to develop transferable skills like observation and critical thinking for her students.

Back to our lofty goals – LeeAnn and I began this series of sessions with the goal of fostering collaboration and better integrating continuing education in the allied disciplines of conservation and archaeology. We want to bring more conservation information to our archaeology colleagues, and we hope to promote archaeology meetings as a forum for conservators.  So far each session has been an excellent educational opportunity for us, and we hope our audiences have felt the same way. We’re grateful to our speakers in both years thus far and to ASOR for embracing the series.
Archaeological conservators, we hope you’ll join us for future meetings in San Diego (2014) and Atlanta (2015).  If you’re willing to contribute to conservation sessions at either meeting, please write us! We’d love to hear from you. The deadline to submit abstracts for 2014 is February 15.
Suzanne Davis:
LeeAnn Barnes Gordon:

41st Annual Meeting – Objects Session, May 31, "Beyond the Visible: Macro and Micro Analytical Forensic Imaging for the Documentation and Investigation of Archaeological Objects,” by Alexis North and Dr. Ioanna Kakoulli

There are two things you should know up front before you read this post. 1) This talk was fascinating. 2) I am not going to do it justice. I couldn’t take notes quickly enough and it didn’t help that I was frequently mesmerized by the beautifully colored images.
This paper briefly reviewed current methods for digital analytical imaging using visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light, but its true focus was on exploring and adapting technology from crime scene investigation for use in object examination. Specifically, the authors looked at the use of an alternative light source (ALS) combined with a different filters on a modified digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR – modified by removing the UV/IR blocking filters). The ALS allows the user to choose specific wavelengths of light for illumination and, by using filters on the DSLR, reflectance/fluorescence can then be captured between 350nm and 1000nm. In this case, a Mini-CrimeScope 400 ALS was used along with a modified Nikon D90.
Multiple projects were featured to show the capabilities and limitations of the technique, all focusing on the investigation of archaeological ceramics. The authors began by creating reference panels of expected ancient pigments and binders, as well as of potential modern materials including adhesives. They then experimented to find successful combinations of excitation and emission. For one of the projects used as an example, an ancient Greek incense burner with a figure of Nike, this method of investigation was able to identify Egyptian blue and madder lake pigments. In this example, illumination was in the green spectrum and capture was in the red and vice-versa (if I’m remembering correctly).  On a Roman figurine, the technique identified madder lake, but also pointed to the need for further testing of a green pigment which did not fluoresce (it turned out to be green earth).  Additional examples included a Pre-Columbian ceramic and two Italian ceramics.
In summary, this paper demonstrated that forensic photography with a broadband light source can successfully be used for qualitative identification of a variety of ancient and modern materials. What’s exciting about this (at least for me) is its potential application to archaeological field settings. After all, crime scene investigation happens entirely “in the field” and this technique is completely portable. It also promises to be relatively simple once successful combinations are worked out for different materials. The ALS price tag is not exactly cheap, and the cost is likely to vary a bit depending on who’s buying (police department, university, etc.), but at roughly 15K it is in a more affordable category than, say, portable X-ray fluorescence. Plus, you end up with visually appealing and instructive images, which would frankly be great in both scholarly publications and museum didactics.
This paper also highlighted (for me) the debt we owe to graduate students like Alexis North (currently at the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials) and faculty like Ioanna Kakoulli (also at UCLA in the Materials Science and Engineering Department and Chair of the Conservation Program). Where would we be without graduate student research? Many of my archaeology colleagues will be delighted to know about this non-destructive possibility for investigating objects in the museum and in the field.

41st Annual Meeting – Objects Session, May 31, "Innovations During Renovations: Evolving Technologies and New Materials for an Encyclopedic University Museum,” by Carol Snow

If you were fortunate enough to hear this talk, you probably had the same thought I did: How can I get a job at the Yale University Art Gallery? In an action-packed twenty minutes, Carol Snow, Deputy Chief Conservator for the Yale University Art Gallery, took the listener on a fascinating tour of multiple conservation projects undertaken in conjunction with the Gallery’s 14 year-long renovation. The renovation itself involved three separate buildings, ranging in construction date from 1866 to 1928, and it dramatically expanded the Gallery’s exhibition, study, classroom, and conservation space.
The projects Carol chose to feature spanned an amazing range, and throughout her talk she emphasized the collaborative nature of each treatment and installation. Conservators, art handlers, exhibition preparators, and riggers – and in many cases engineers and architects – collaborated, as did artists. For an ancient Roman Mithraeum altar, for example, painted wall fragments were treated to remove old backing materials and then installed in their correct configuration in a newly constructed recreation of the altar. This was accomplished using an ingenious structure which allowed each fragment to “float” in place, supported. A scenic painter provided the final touches on the installation, integrating losses to give visitors a better sense of the altar’s original appearance and context.
Roman horse armor from Dura Europos (still backed with its original leather backing!) was installed on a fiberglass horse made from downloading a 3-D scan of a horse. A mosaic from a Byzantine church at Gerasa (Jerash, Jordan) was treated to remove the cracking concrete backing and newly mounted. Period rooms were investigated, pigments identified, and the wood panels dated by dendrochronology and then cleaned before installation. A fragile stained glass window by John LaFarge was supported and displayed on an interior wall using a clever system of hidden LED lights. For a slumping petroleum jelly dumbbell by artist Matthew Barney, conservators worked closely with the artist to recast a dumbbell from his original mold, using the correct composition of petroleum jelly.
Throughout the talk, the expertise and resourcefulness of the Art Gallery’s team was apparent. But it gets even better. At heart university museums are teaching collections, and although they serve to inspire the wider community, education and access are their primary missions on campus. Conservators are instrumental in achieving these goals, and Carol demonstrated this in spades. From her discussion of how a rooftop terrace was engineered to safely display outdoor sculpture, to her explanation of the Gallery’s clever use of steel-faced honeycomb panels and rare earth magnets to provide a simple and quick method for rotating displays of textiles, she highlighted the crucial role of conservators in achieving the Gallery’s mission. One of my favorite projects featured in this talk was a Marcel Duchamp Rotary Glass Plates sculpture. Conservators repaired a broken blade for this complex object, but then went on to assist in creating a working model of the sculpture which can be used for classes and workshops. Talk about engaging with artwork! Who wouldn’t appreciate seeing this in action?
In closing, I should say that I could not take notes quickly enough during this talk, and the projects I’ve mentioned here are not all-inclusive. So read the post-print! There’s something in this paper for every objects conservator, no matter your sub-specialty. There’s also something for any conservator interested in innovative solutions to tricky display questions or in ways of increasing context and access in the gallery. And if you’re looking for great models of teamwork in an institution, this is definitely for you. Congratulations to Carol and the YUAG team on a job well done.

41st Annual Meeting – Objects Session, May 30, "Rethinking the Monumental: A Creative Approach to the Preservation of a Landmark Tony Smith Outdoor Sculpture,” by John Steele and Abigail Mack

This talk had so much to like: an incredible case study of Tony Smith’s massive Gracehoper, a great film clip featuring 1970’s Detroit, and a nuanced look at how community and stakeholder values influence the preservation of public art. But most valuable was the clear exposition of the collaborative decision-making process that went into creating a treatment plan for this Detroit landmark.
Gracehoper is owned by the Detroit Institute of Arts and sits on the Museum’s north lawn.  It’s the largest of Smith’s sculptures to be fabricated during his lifetime and is roughly 22 feet high and 46 feet long, with a whopping 3,800 square feet of surface area. Smith designed a cardboard maquette for the sculpture in 1961, but the full-size version wasn’t fabricated until 1972. In a delightful short film clip, we were able to see the fabricated steel sections being trucked into Detroit and listen to Smith talk about the joy of seeing this monumental sculpture installed.  Although not part of the clip shown, Tony Smith mused that Gracehoper, “looks like someone’s nightmare…I guess the reason that it’s not my nightmare is because it’s on the lawn of the Detroit Museum.”

Gracehoper at the DIA

41 years later the sculpture is, if not a nightmare, then a very challenging conservation project. The painted exterior – meant to be a “dull semi-gloss” black specified by Smith – is now faded, streaked and disfigured by graffiti. Corrosion has created rusty staining and caused paint to lift. The sculpture now desperately needs conservation treatment not only to restore its appearance, but also to insure its preservation for the future; unless existing corrosion is removed and the surface recoated, corrosion on outdoor sculptures like this one will continue, eventually undermining structural integrity.
The project team assembled to develop a treatment plan included conservators John Steele and Abigail Mack; John is the DIA’s Conservator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, and Abigail, of Abigail Mack Art Conservation LLC, specializes in the conservation of modern outdoor sculpture. Also on the team were the DIA’s Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Rebecca Hart; James Sejd, President of the industrial painting company ASCo; and Sarah Auld, Director of the Tony Smith Estate. Together, they considered the monumental size of the sculpture, its current condition, Smith’s desired aesthetic for Gracehoper, and current coatings technology.
Adding to the complexity of the project was the fact that as the team weighed treatment options, the DIA was facing an important regional tax vote which would, if successful, support operations for the Museum over the next ten years (it was successful, by the way).  The Museum could not afford negative public opinion, and the Gracehoper project team knew that their recommendations would need to be sensitive to cost and feasibility as well as conservation goals. This was no mean feat for research and treatment on a sculpture of this size. It’s also worth noting that the DIA did an amazing job of raising funds for this project; the cost of treating Gracehoper will be paid exclusively by grants and private donations.
Ultimately, the project team decided to treat Gracehoper on-site and to repaint the surface using a roller-applied high performance paint. But the simplicity of this statement belies the complexity of the decision-making process. The team investigated every aspect of the sculpture’s current condition and evaluated an amazing number of treatment options. They were guided by 2 primary questions: 1) Could the sculpture be treated on-site or would it need to be disassembled and treated in an off-site facility? 2) What paint would best match Tony Smith’s aesthetics while also meeting the team’s requirements for durability, application, maintenance, and availability?
As a resident of metro-Detroit, I’ve watched the progress of this project with interest for several years. I was fortunate to have an insider’s look at the investigative process and clearly remember the massive whiteboard flow-chart in the DIA’s Objects Conservation Lab that tracked the group’s decisions as they worked through questions and weighed possible approaches. Although attendees of this talk didn’t get to see the whiteboard with all its scribbled queries and findings, John and Abigail’s talk suggested it by elegantly following the group’s comprehensive and carefully considered research. I suspect that this will be the most important and useful aspect of this paper for most conservators – not the details of the final treatment plan, since every painted outdoor sculpture is different and most are not as large as Gracehoper  – but the way in which the team developed it.
For conservators considering similar projects with painted outdoor sculpture, or conservators considering ANY large-scale treatment project, this paper provides a great guide for what questions to ask and how to find the answers. Look for it in the OSG 2013 post-prints! Treatment of Gracehoper is slated to begin in July of 2013, so stay tuned to learn how it goes.

Survey on teaching conservation in allied academic degree programs

For AIC’s 2013 annual meeting, Emily Williams and I developed a discussion session to examine conservation education in allied degree programs. Our overall goal for the session is to begin a dialogue about the goals and methodology of teaching conservation information and concepts to non-conservation students.
In order to provide a foundation for understanding and examining current trends in conservation pedagogy at the university level, we conducted an online survey, titled Teaching Conservation in Allied Degree Programs, prior to the session.
The survey was created using Qualtrics ( ) and was active for 2.5 weeks. It was distributed by link to a variety of listservs including all AIC specialty group lists, the Conservation-Research list and multiple ICOM-CC lists.  A total of 154 respondents began the survey and 111 completed it. 1 complete response was discarded because it was not appropriate (the respondent did not teach in higher education), and 8 nearly complete responses were retained. This resulted in a total of 118 responses for analysis. Several of these were re-coded to correct obvious errors (for example, when a respondent chose “other” but wrote in a response that matched one of the possible choices).
A public version of the initial survey report can be accessed here: Allied Education Survey Report – Public.  All information that might compromise respondent anonymity was removed from the public version of the report.
Many thanks to all those who took the survey! We appreciate your time and the opportunity to explore conservation education with you. We’re especially grateful to the following colleagues for testing and editing multiple versions of the survey: Cathleen Baker, Sanchita Balachandran, Holly Cusack-McVeigh, Heather Galloway, Richard McCoy, and Renée Stein.

AIC’s 40th Annual Meeting, Conservation and Education II, May 10

Chaired by Beverly Nadeen Perkins, Chief Conservator for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, this session included 4 interesting presentations. All focused on post-secondary education in conservation for students in allied professions.

Beverly began the session by stating two important beliefs from early in her career: 1) that she should share information freely with other conservators, and 2) that she should be cautious about sharing information with non-conservators. Over time, however, she has come to believe that her knowledge and experience can and should be shared with all. To facilitate conversation on this topic, she chose two questions for the presenters and the audience to discuss following the talks. Sadly, the session ran out of time and no discussion was possible. But if you attended the session and are reading this post, perhaps you’d like to comment and discuss here? Here are the questions:

1)      To what extent should conservators be involved with directing and educating upcoming artists about their use of art materials? Is there any ethical dilemma here? Would conservators be overstepping their bounds by doing so?

2)      How is increased outreach and education among allied professions impacting the role of conservators?

In presentation order, the talks in this session were as follows:

Ingrid A. Neuman, Conservator at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, in Providence, Rhode Island, gave a fascinating overview of her work with young artists at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). At RISD, she educates undergraduate students about art materials, with the goal of enabling them to make informed choices about the materials they use. Her teaching includes information about how to use art materials safely and about how to manipulate them to achieve desired effects. She also described her work with the “Sitings Competition.” In this program, degree candidate students at RISD can apply to create site-specific installations in the Museum of Art. Working with Ingrid, the students are introduced to issues in exhibition conservation and to tools like MSDS sheets.

Ingrid linked conservation to artistic creation by enumerating common activities shared by conservators and artists, including: problem solving, creativity, repurposing, borrowing, and experimenting. She also discussed the reasons to transmit knowledge to young artists. Practically – their work will be acquired by collection institutions. Idealistically – conservators have a professional obligation to share knowledge. Realistically – professors of art are responsible for educating students about artistic processes, not the chemistry and deterioration of art materials.

Finally, Ingrid noted that while this population might not be seriously invested in preservation at this moment in their careers, their views may change over time. In future, she would like to survey recent alumni about what they found valuable and what they would like to have learned in regard to art materials and preservation. She also encouraged conservators to participate more in education at art schools, suggesting that more widely available, quick, and simple classes on this topic would be beneficial.

Nina Roth-Wells and Lauren Lessing spoke about their work with students at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Their goals at Colby are to give students a hands-on connection with art, to expose them to the field of conservation, and to instill in them the importance of cultural heritage in a comprehensive and inclusive way. Nina and Lauren talked primarily about two courses they’ve been involved with at Colby College, a special January term course (a month-long course between the regular academic terms), and an upper level chemistry course.

Nina, a conservator in private practice and an instructor at Colby College, spoke about the January term course that she designed and taught. The class was open to all students, not just those in related disciplines like art history. In fact, she observed that art history students had a harder time engaging with the physical, material aspects of artwork than did students who had never studied art. Nina shared the structure of the course, in which she tried to present a wide range of conservation activities to her students. The class included many field trips, as well as lab-based activities. Notably, students were required to write condition reports and to propose and defend conservation treatments (although no treatments were conducted – a disappointment to some students). The collections of the Colby College Museum of Art were used for these activities, and the assignments encouraged students to think about how conservation treatment might change the informational value of artwork and artifacts.

Lauren, the Mirken Curator of American Art at the Colby College Museum of Art, talked about the need to make academic museum collections valued and useful for students and faculty across campus (an incredibly important goal!). At Colby, she has worked to expand the Museum’s collections use from the art department to the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. More specifically, she spoke about engagement with an upper level chemistry course focusing on instrumental methods and analysis. The Museum’s involvement with the class has evolved over time and, thanks to assistance from Nina, now includes a concrete connection to art, as students examine artwork with different, measured wavelengths of light and use a digital camera to produce infrared reflectography.

Both Nina and Lauren stressed the ways in which conservation can build bridges to the humanities and made the point that opportunities for sustained examination of cultural heritage materials are rare and valuable in today’s world of mediated, virtual looking.

Norman Muller, Conservator at the Princeton University Art Museum, in Princeton, New Jersey, gave a very practical talk focused on the activities he has used to successfully teach technical information to art history students. His work, as presented in this talk, has focused on teaching the materials and technology of painting.

Norman described how he introduces students to examination techniques and to technical analysis. His teaching helps students see how paintings in a particular school, or during a particular time period, are related in a physical, technical way, deepening the students’ understanding of artwork and enabling them to evaluate paintings in multiple ways.  He also discussed the ways in which he works with students in the galleries at the Princeton University Art Museum.

A truly committed teacher, Norman demonstrated the use of a 14th century Siennese triptych model that he built (!) to teach students about the construction of panel paintings. He also presented information about an exhibition he designed to share technical information about paintings with students and visitors at Princeton’s museum.

Katherine Untch, Director of the Conservation Division at ARG Conservation Services in San Francisco, California, spoke more broadly about conservation education for allied professionals. Her presentation posed multiple, wide-ranging questions about education and conservation.

In evaluating conservation education, Katy encouraged conservators to examine what allied professionals should learn and why, and what conservators are teaching and why. She also asked conservators to think about the ways in which conservation education relates to education in allied professions, and what conservators might learn by looking more carefully at what is taught in those professions.

In a disturbing portion of her talk, Katy reported that allied professionals have told her they prefer not to work with conservators because conservators are inflexible, don’t deliver to expectations, and are not team players. As an audience member, it was not clear to me how many professionals had expressed this view or in what context the criticism was delivered. Katy made the point that conservators must learn how to engage and respect other professionals, and learn to work more efficiently and effectively in teams.

Katy also examined professionalism and respect among conservators. Are we wise to criticize past treatments? Do we define our jobs too narrowly by always focusing on treatment in outreach? To illustrate this last point, she examined a series of conservation images online, all of which showed treatment activities. To balance this focus on treatment, Katy argued that we should share more of the complexity of what we do. She further encouraged conservators to develop joint curricula with allied professions, and to pay more attention to feedback from non-conservator colleagues, including whether or not we are meeting their needs. Opportunities that she enumerated for conservation education in future included expanding opportunities for continuing education and expanding research degrees at the doctoral level in joint fields. Finally, she listed a series of concepts that conservation educators could focus on in teaching, including team and project based learning, process based decision making, and the development of communications skills.