2009 Bursaries to Attend ICOM Related Conferences Available

Please note that ICOM provides bursaries to its young (under 40 years old) members to attend ICOM and committee conferences, including any ICOM-CC Working Group (joint) conferences. Deadline : 15 March 2009

The criteria and form for 2009 are on the ICOM website under:


Look under:

Support for Young ICOM members participation in International Committee/Regional Alliance meetings

Please do not hesitate to contact the person below if you need any further information about this programme.

Margarida Ascenso
Administration Unit
International Council of Museums (ICOM)
1, rue Miollis
75732 Paris cedex 15 (France)
Ph: (33) 1 47 34 05 00
Fax (33) 1 43 06 78 62
Email: secretariat@icom.museum

An Interview with the Certification Implementation Task Force

A big thank you to Amber Kerr Allison, who represents the network as an advisor to the Certification Implementation Task Force (CITF), for coordinating this project.  The results of the interview are below. Please add to the conversation by responding with your comments.


Question 1) Seven years of prior experience is required before a conservator can take the certification exam. What will count towards that experience? Why have an experience requirement at all if an unqualified individual will not be able to earn a passing score? [From Blog]

Answer1) Please note that in response to member concerns, the seven-year requirement has been shortened to six:

  • A cumulative total of 6 years full-time experience in a combination of conservation education, training, and work experience (including pre-program and apprenticeships) is required. At least 3 of these years must be spent working and/or studying in a specialty area (as defined within a material specialty).
  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) is required. A waiver process will be established for special situations.
  • AIC membership is required to take the exam. However, a membership application and the required documentation reports can be submitted for approval along with the certification application. Please Note: It is acceptable to require membership for participation in a certification program as long as membership is open to anyone. It is not considered restraint of trade.

There should be both training and experience requirements to sit for the exam, since this is part of setting a standard for those we call certified conservators. Most certification programs set such requirements to qualify to apply. There are always entry requirements and those have to be equal for all parties.

Question 2) How will years of experience be calculated for people working part time? [Anonymous]

Answer 2) The CIPP working group defined full time as “at least 35 hours per week”. It is a straightforward mathematical calculation: i.e., if you worked three days a week (7 hours per day) for one year, that would count as 21/35 (or 3/5) of a year of experience.

Question 3) Shouldn’t individuals who sacrifice the time and money to attend graduate school have an advantage in the number of years before they can take the exam from those who didn’t dedicate themselves to education? [Amber Kerr-Allison]

Answer 3) A cumulative total of 6 years full-time experience in a combination of conservation education, training, and work experience (including pre-program and apprenticeships) is required. See the response to #1.

Every year of graduate school counts as a year of being a full time student, and thus counts as years toward the required 6. If your year of graduate school was spent in an internship in your specialty, that year would also count as a (concurrent) year toward the stipulation that three of those years be spent in your specialty.

Although some make the argument that formal program training provides a more complete academic background, others argue that the experience gained through hands-on apprenticeship is of equal importance. The CITF requirements acknowledge the value of both academic training and practical experience in meeting the standards to become a certified conservator.


Question 4) What exactly does the test certify a conservator for? [From Blog]

Answer 4) The AIC Certification Program will convey to other conservators and end users of conservation services that the certified conservator can work independently as a competent conservator.

Question 5) How will becoming certified differ from obtaining a degree in conservation? [From Blog]

Answer 5) See above. In addition, certification confirms that the conservator has had experience as well as formal training. Recertification also requires ongoing education.

Question 6) After the test run, what will be the review process to evaluate effectiveness and develop changes? Will these changes be voted on like the initial process was voted on? How long with the initial test be allowed to run before changes are made? [Rachel Penniman]

Answer 6) Once the program is established and running, it will be up to the AIC Certification Commission to periodically evaluate or re-evaluate the program and determine if there is a need for change. While the AIC-CC will operate with a certain amount of autonomy, it will certainly review potential program revisions with the AIC board. Modifications to the program will not go back to members for a vote.


Question 7) I understand having an essay-based exam, which many think is a more accurate way to judge the values and ethics of a conservator, rather than quizzing us on facts in a multiple-choice format. I think the idea of submitting treatment reports is a great idea–true, real world application. But retesting our ethics, values, and methods for approaching case studies every 3 years? Would anything really have changed in our responses? [Claire Walker]

Answer 7) In response to member concerns, certified individuals will need to recertify every five years rather than the three years previously proposed. There is no requirement to re-take the exam in 5 years. The preferred route is based on credits earned for continuing professional education. Re-taking the certification exam would only be done if someone was not willing to invest in continuing professional education.

Question 8) Why take expensive classes and workshops for recertification credit rather than simply taking the certification exam again? [From Blog]

Answer 8) The current option of re-taking the exam for re-certification will be evaluated in the future after the program is underway. It is certainly more professional to invest in continuing education. Not doing so might make it more difficult to pass the exam, because the applicant has not remained current with changes in the field. Re-taking the exam does not give the recertifying applicant any advantage since he/she will be evaluated as if a first-time applicant, including providing recent treatment documentation and accompanying essays.


Question 9) If, as members, we are seeking certification as a means of defining and promoting expertise in our field, how long before we insist that ALL fellows be certified? Otherwise, what would be the incentive for members at this level to become certified? How long before it would be mandatory for Fellows to have certification? [Amber Kerr-Allison]

Answer 9) Setting requirements for membership are the responsibility of the Membership Committee and are outside the purview of the CITF. The membership committee has been assessing the potential impact of the certification program on Professional Associate and Fellow membership categories, and they will make any recommendations for changes to membership categories to the AIC Board following further consideration. The two programs are distinct and the marketing of both will reflect that difference. Note that it would not be fair to add a requirement onto the Fellow category that affects those who are already Fellows, and some established Fellows may certainly decide not to become certified. Also, there will undoubtedly be many certified conservators who make no contributions to the profession as a whole and who never desire to influence the field through service in AIC, and therefore would not apply for Fellow status.

Question 10) Now that AIC is a certifying body, how will this change AIC’s focus? Will it affect any other aspect of AIC as an organization? “For at least the first five years, AIC will administer the program by setting up a Certification Commission that will be responsible for administering the exam.” Is there thought that after the first five years a separate certification organization will be developed (like the European model) or will it stay within AIC? [Rachel Penniman]

Answer 10) AIC’s focus will remain on providing services to its members. Changes in AIC will include increased marketing and outreach both to its members and to end users of conservation services. If it seems useful, additional workshop topics might be added to our repertory in response to the needs of members seeking certification.

At this time, the main reason for creating a Certification Commission is so that the AIC Board cannot unduly influence the decisions of the AIC-CC in regard to fair and equitable administration of the certification process. It would be financially impossible to set the AIC-CC up as a completely independent body at this time (the costs would have to be passed on in the form of substantially higher certification fees). In the future, the CC could become independent; however, it will be up to the AIC-CC and AIC Board to investigate whether there are reasons to change and the impacts of such a change for the program and for AIC. Frankly, given that the program is not designed to be fully self-supporting, it seems unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Question 11) [Rachel Penniman] You must be a member of AIC to take the exam. If your membership subsequently lapses in the next 3 years, are you still certified? Can you renew your membership only in recertification years or must you maintain membership to maintain certification?

Answer 11) AIC Membership is a requirement to maintain certification. Hardship issues will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Questions from Rachel Penniman

Question 12) “The programs are involved in the process and have been providing bibliographies.” What kind of involvement have they had? Will/have they been asked to help develop questions? Will they adjust their curriculum based on test focus? Will they do anything to specifically prepare their students for the certification exam?

Answer 12) Program faculty have been involved in the certification development process over the years. However, it has long been recommended that the graduate programs not be deeply involved in the certification development process because it was felt that they would bias the exam towards their curricula. Members of graduate program faculty, as PAs or Fellows, may help develop the exams, but the programs have very strongly implied that that would be the limit of participation. They do not wish to bear the burden of exam development. Whether curricula change in the future will be up to the programs. They do periodic curricula evaluations and make changes as they deem necessary. It would be difficult to imagine a graduate program “teaching to an exam.” The proposed certification exam has been described as being in the nature of a comprehensive exam. Comprehensive exams require that candidate demonstrate the ability to synthesize material learned through coursework and/or experience.

Question 13) I see in the FAQs section that there will be a study guide. How about reading lists or practice/example questions?

Answer 13) During the exam development, the need for study aids will be evaluated by the group organizing the development. Reading lists and guides will be considered.

Question 14) For the trial run, could recent graduates/students be included in the initial testing phase to evaluate their preparedness for this exam? This could give the certification committee a better idea of just how knowledgeable and competent students are and help them evaluate what the exam is really testing. If a passing mark is being set based on results of this trial run but only PA and Fellows can take it then theoretically everyone in the trial run should pass the test. Perhaps you should include those who you don’t expect to pass the test as well to help set the bar.

Answer 14) Please see the last bullet below:

Pilot Program

  • Grant funds will be secured to develop the pilot project, part of which is the first administration of the exam.
  • A group of Fellows and Professional Associates eligible to become Fellows (minimum of ten years of experience) will be allowed to apply to take the first exam. They must meet all exam requirements and pay the test fee. The pilot participants must agree to help edit, develop, and validate the test.
  • Sufficient representation from each specialty area will be sought.
  • This group will be trained to serve as reviewers.
  • During the pilot stage, candidates will also serve as reviewers of other candidate’s exams and documentation.
  • An additional small group of less experienced (but otherwise eligible) candidates will be incorporated in the pilot run to ensure test validity.

Question 15) “At least 4 of these years spent working and/or studying in a specialty area (as defined within a material specialty).” Does this mean each specialty will have their own way of defining how your 7 years of experience must be met? So could one definition differ from another? And if you can answer any of the specialty group questions, and the certification exam does not certify you for a single specialty, isn’t it possible to have years of preprogram experience in one specialty, meet the experience requirement for that specialty, answer the questions for that specialty, but then be actively working in a totally different specialty?

Answer 15) Note that the new requirement is 3 years in a specialty area. The CIPP working group, which drafted this recommendation, felt that the majority of conservators work within a defined area of specialty or specialties. Therefore, it was important that the education requirement encompass both broad–based, general conservation knowledge and specific, in-depth knowledge in one’s particular area(s) of specialization. There was concern that an applicant for certification may have spent their required 6 years in general training situations without spending enough time within their area(s) of specialization, producing an applicant with a broad but shallow course of preparation, and insufficient in-depth knowledge to perform as a conservator in their chosen area(s). Therefore, the group included the stipulation that a minimum amount of training be focused in the applicant’s area(s) of specialization to help to insure that the applicant is both well-rounded and focused.

The current recommendation is:

A cumulative total of 6 years full-time experience in a combination of conservation education, training, and work experience (including pre-program and apprenticeships) is required. At least 3 of these years must be spent working and/or studying in a specialty area (as defined within a material specialty).

This is strictly a mathematical calculation, based on the applicant’s self-described area(s) of specialization, and part of the basic requirements to sit for the exam. When applicants are accepted to sit for the exam, they will be able to answer any case studies they wish, and will not be limited to those that directly relate to their aforementioned area of specialization.

Question 16) Questions will be made that address specialty groups. Why? If this is not certifying conservators for a single specialty then shouldn’t the questions be general or core competencies? What does AIC considering as being the “specialties”? Does it just fit with how they’ve structured their specialty group membership? For example, will there be questions focused specifically on conservators in private practice or research and technical studies?

Answer 16) While all conservators have “core knowledge” of general conservation, that knowledge is usually applied through the lens of their particular area(s) of specialization. Therefore, it was felt that certification applicants could best display their knowledge by answering questions from their area(s) of specialization. The specialty groups will be asked to help in developing case study questions which will address core competencies and general conservation knowledge as defined by that specialty. Presently, specialty areas will include the AIC specialty groups, with the exception of CIPP, since it is defined by employment method rather than specialty material. An added area of specialization to be included will be preventive conservation. As the certification program continues over time, more areas of specialization may be incorporated, with specific exam questions, as the field of conservation changes. A certification applicant will be able to choose among all the available exam questions regardless of their area(s) of specialization.

Question 17) I see that there will be an application that must be submitted before sitting for the certification exam. It mentions submitting two documentation reports with this application, what other information will be required for this application? Documentation of experience?

Answer 17) Two documentation reports are now part of the exam and not part of the application process.

The exam will consist of:

  • Two case studies that would require essay answers addressing specified criteria relating to a variety of competencies. Candidates would be able to choose from a number of case studies in each of the specialties represented by AIC Specialty Groups and an additional area for preventive conservation.
  • Two documentation reports must be submitted with the completed exam. Guidelines for the documentation will be supplied to applicants. Documentation should be “depersonalized” by the applicant (instructions will be provided), but should otherwise be a copy of the actual reports. An essay of 800 to 1,000 words must be included with each documentation report that explains the thought process behind actions taken, a discussion of how each documentation report conforms with the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice, and any additional information the applicant would like to convey to clarify or expand on any sections.

Question 18) How will certification be described/advertised to non-conservators?

Answer 18) This is very important, and AIC will be developing a campaign focusing on helping the user of conservation services find the most qualified conservators with whom to work. It will emphasize the goals of the AIC Certification Program and the process of becoming a certified conservator and maintaining certification.

Question 19) How will conservators be able to advertise their certification? I think right now, associate conservators cannot advertise their associate membership in AIC. For example, what can a certified conservator (associate, PA or Fellow) put on their business card, resume, or ads for private practice?

Answer 19) Certified conservators could put “Certified Fellow, AIC,” “Certified Professional Member, AIC,” or “Certified Member, AIC” (depending on their membership level) on their business card and promotional material. On their website, they could also link to the AIC website page that describes these categories. Members will be encouraged to advertise their status as certified in the AIC Certification Program.

Question 20) For recertification, how will credits be tracked? Will AIC track them or does the individual conservator need to provide documentation at the time of recertification?

Answer 20) Documentation will need to be provided on a yet to be determined schedule. AIC’s new Web site and databases will help facilitate tracking.

Question 21) What percent of eligible AIC membership do you anticipate will test for certification in the first year, five years, ten years. Ultimately, what percent do you hope to be certified?

Answer 21) See Projected Budgets, to be posted on the website shortly

Answer 22) What ramifications do you anticipate certification will have on hiring and pay of conservators? What effect on certified conservators vs. uncertified conservators?

Answer 22) We do have feedback from end users indicating that they will use certification as a criterion in seeking conservators for government contracts and certification may be used by some museum administrators as a criterion for filling conservation positions. There is no expectation that certification will affect conservation salaries.

Answer 23) What opportunities will AIC membership have for discussion about the certification issue before the vote in September? The AIC website has been updated with information and I see that an article will be published in the newsletter, but I would be very interested in hearing what other people are thinking and what questions they have. I would also be interested to hear what people think about my questions. I guess I’m looking for more of an interactive discussion. Is there any possibility for a distlist/blog/website to be put up devoted to certification discussion before the September vote?

Answer 23) The vote is now scheduled for January/February 2009. Information will be provided and updated as necessary on the website. The task force has used the FAQ section of the certification webpage to address repeated questions and this will be updated periodically to reflect any new comments that should be addressed. Regretfully, we do not have the resources needed to monitor and respond to a stream of comments and questions on a blog or on the distlist. More interactive discussions did take place on many specialty group listservs and will probably continue.

Question 24) From the FAQs. “We have heard a lot about the benefits of certification . . . what are downsides of this process?:
Certification is a powerful tool to boost the image of a profession and can be an important way to distinguish between qualified and untested professionals within a field. However, any profession considering certification needs to be unified and have an agreed upon set of guidelines that all professional practitioners have agreed to follow. Certification is not a quick fix, but rather a long-term process of a profession further defining itself.”

I would feel more comfortable voting on certification if there were a fuller discussion of the possible downsides or negative side effects. While I appreciate how it can benefit us as a field, I haven’t heard enough discussion of the possible negative aspects and most importantly how they can be dealt with.

Answer 24) There has been discussion about possible downsides to certification on the CIPP listserv over the years. The main thrust of it has been over the question of increased liability and vulnerability to lawsuits. These questions were first raised early in the development phase and were addressed by Samuel Y. Harris during the Issues Session in Dallas during the 2001 Annual Meeting, and were repeated in the AIC News, July 2002 (go to the AIC website on certification for this and other articles). Harris’ position was/is “that liability exposure is not a function of certification.” He goes on to explain a conservator’s risk of lawsuit is more directly related to the degree of risk in a given project, and the value of a piece being treated. He also stressed that conservators would be better served with thorough standardized contracts than added insurance against negligence, which can actually attract lawsuits because of the perceived deep pockets insurance implies. After consulting with several attorneys Harris writes, “The consensus is that conservators are more likely to be exposed to claims of breach of contract (for which insurance is not available) than to claims of negligence, for which, ironically, insurance is theoretically available.”

It has been explained in conversation that no contract will keep one out of court, but it will provide protection once you are there. Certification should provide the same kind of protection should one be sued over the outcome of a treatment, because if a certified conservator can prove that he/she was performing according to the established and recognized standards of the profession, he/she will have a potent defense against charges of negligence or malpractice. The best protection against lawsuits for malpractice or negligence is high performance, but even that won’t protect anyone against a client who can’t accept the reality of a bad situation. In which case, certification will be a better defense than just insurance.

Another potential downside to implementing a certification program is low participation, particularly in the first few years. If participation is lower than projected, the program will become a drain on AIC resources. Low participation will also adversely affect the ultimate success of the program in assisting end users of conservation services, in publicizing conservation to the public, and in providing additional stature to the conservation profession.

Question 25) Also from the FAQs: “Conservators who help write exams – are they then expected to sit their own exam?

Grant funds will be secured to develop the pilot project, part of which is the test run. The first 75 Professional Associates and Fellows, each with a minimum of ten years of experience, who volunteer, will be allowed to apply to take the test run exam, which will be proctored. This group will be trained to serve as reviewers. During the test run, candidates will also serve as reviewers of other candidate’s exams.”

This does not exactly answer the question. Will people who wrote the questions be sitting for the exam and answering their own questions?

Answer 25) The Pilot Program exam takers will not answer questions that they wrote. The test bank created prior to the Pilot Program will be large enough that no one will need to answer their own questions.

An Invitation

The Winterthur/University of Delaware Program

in Art Conservation (WUDPAC)

welcomes all pre-program candidates


Class of 2011

Pre-Program Portfolio Display

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Winterthur Museum, Rotunda

3:30-5:00 pm – WUDPAC Class of 2011 will share their pre-program

portfolios outside the Gallery Reception Area at Winterthur Museum.

5:00-5:45 pm Gretchen Guidess, second-year Fellow in art

conservation, will present a talk about her 2008 summer work project

at Wendy Jessup and Associates, Inc. Arlington, VA. The talk will be


6:00-7:00 pm – Visitors can tour the conservation laboratories in the

Research Building.

Please RSVP for this event by Friday, September 26, 2008 by emailing

Susan Behrens at behrens@udel.edu

Ways to Connect

After a survey and initial meeting, we are off to a great start. Several people have indicated an interest in getting this group off the ground, and here are some of the things in three key areas that we will be doing over the coming months:

Career Development

1. Begin listing internship/pre-program training opportunities on the new website. Lead: Ryan Winfield (so far)
2. Send out more detailed surveys about the state of the field of conservation. Lead: Daniel Cull
3. Establish a Mentoring Program. Leads: Anne Simon and Angela Elliot


1. Begin organizing networking happy hours. Lead: Brooke Young
2. Create more opportunities for virtual networking. Leads: Nicky Emery and Jason Church
3. Host a business meeting and separate reception at the 2009 Annual Meeting. Leads: Laura Brill and Nicky Emery


1. Update and use the AIC outreach lecture (perhaps create a podcast). Leads: Steven Pickman and Chris Waters
2. Update AIC’s Conservation Training in US brochure/information – need more volunteers!

Consider becoming involved in one of the above initiatives. For more information on how to get involved, either contact the leads listed above directly by looking them up in your AIC Directory or contact Ryan Winfield at the AIC office. Also, you can just drop in on one of our conference calls sometime. See below.

Third Thursday Conference Calls

Third Thursday Conference Calls

The leaders of the network agreed that the group should have regularly scheduled conference calls. It was decided that these would occur every Third Thursday at 1:00 PM Eastern time. To be a part of these calls, please call in using the information below. Mark these dates in your calendars!

Conference Call Info




Dial-in Access Numbers:

800-379-4339 / 781-743-1771

Conference ID: 9992396901


1:00 PM

The latest about on network initiatives


1:00 PM



1:00 PM



1:00 PM


Certification and You

With AIC’s new survey it seems emerging conservators everywhere are thinking about, talking about, and coming up with new questions about certification. What do you want to know about certification? What are your concerns and ideas?

We’d like to give the emerging conservator community the opportunity to have these questions answered by a member of the certification committee. Please email your questions and comments to Amber Kerr-Allison at amberkerr@aol.com by August 1st. Please note if you would rather have your questions remain anonymous. We will try to have all your questions answered and post them on the AIC Emerging Leaders blog as soon as possible. Although we will probably not have everything answered before Tuesday’s survey deadline, we will certainly get the information to you before the official Certification vote this fall.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some questions we’ve commonly heard to get you thinking:

· Seven years of prior experience is required before a conservator can take the certification exam. What will count towards that experience? Why have an experience requirement at all?

· What exactly does the test certify a conservator for?

· Why take expensive classes and workshops for recertification credit rather than simply taking the certification exam again?

· How will becoming certified differ from obtaining a degree in conservation?

In addition, we are aware that there are discussions happening on various conservation email listserves. Since not everyone is a part of each of the specialty group conversations, if you are interested in summarizing the discussions that you are privy to, it might benefit the group as a whole. Please email Amber (amberkerr@aol.com) if you would like to summarize recent specialty group or other listserv discussions.

This is an exciting time to be part of the field of conservation and a great opportunity to get involved.

Time for change?

Time for change?

There are some important issues that the conservation field need to deal with, and perhaps this new network is a forum in which this could be achieved. I just want to pick up on one that hasn’t really been mentioned, but is a serious issue.

Pay for newly qualified conservators and Interns (pre and post graduate)

Why is the pay so low?

I think a lot of the issues have been discussed already in an excellent article entitled “the salary conundrum” it is also worth reading many of the comments as well:


However, one additional reason that I can think of is the use of unpaid pre-program interns throughout the museum world, including conservation. Unpaid interns are a means of museums getting the work they need doing for free (based on the need of interns to get experience to get into school). If this free labor was not available the museums alternatives would be two fold, firstly to not do the work (but this would of course lessen their chance of receiving the all important donor’s money) or two to pay for the work to be done…. Our preferred option of course, as it would give museum professionals a job and also look after our collective heritage. This situation is of course not the fault of the interns, but, it is the fault of the museums, and the university courses that demand experience. So I question whether this issue could be resolved as well, paying interns would be a start, and lessening the amount of time conservators need to be interns would also help as this would in theory lessen the amount of interns a museum would have freeing up work for newly qualified professionals.

What to do?

I would suggest that AIC as the body that represents the profession in the US, needs to follow the lead of professional bodies the world over and demand for its members acceptable pay and conditions. For example, the Institute for Conservation (ICON) in the UK has the following to say: (for dollar amounts essentially double the figure)

“Icon seeks to foster recognition of the responsibility held by conservators in protecting and preserving the world’s cultural heritage. The high-level skills required for this vital role should be recognised in status and salary levels. We recommend that the minimum salary for conservators should be £20,895 and conservation technicians should be £17,000. We also recommend that the stipend (not salary) for interns undertaking workbased learning be £14,000.”

They go on to say:

“Starting salaries and career progression for conservators employed in institutions should be no lower or more restricted than for those alongside whom they work. Icon supports the principle of parity across the heritage professions”

It is important to note that these figures aren’t just pie in the sky dreams; they have translated into actual practice:

“For the guidance of employers seeking to determine appropriate salaries for conservators, we provide the following average figures based on a study of all conservation jobs advertised with Icon in 2007:

  • Newly qualified conservator – average – £21,115
  • Qualification and some experience required – average – £23,443
  • Professional Accreditation (PACR) or considerable experience required – average £27,351
  • Senior/management roles – average – £36,971”

It seems to me that these bracketed suggested pay grades could quite easily be a part of AIC policy, and I see no reason that the Emerging network could not lobby for such a situation. There would need to be research undertaken to establish exactly what those grade boundaries should/could be.

I personally think these are much more serious issues than whether AIC introduces a certification procedure. There are already little financial rewards for qualifying as a conservator, without solving this issue first I would question whether certification might simply be adding a new barrier to emerging professionals?

I would hope to see the network take a lead on this issue, and to develop a strategy to take to AIC to come up with a means of solving these issues. We as professionals should also consider how we can work together outside of AIC to improve our conditions, and also to improve the public and institutional face of conservation, for if people don’t know what it is we do, and why, how can we expect anyone to care if we are underpaid for our training and skills. AIC needs to take on some of these “Union” issues, or alternatively conservators need to form a union. Perhaps both would be ideal!

I’d like to suggest that this network work with the other emerging museum professional organizations that have already begun to work on these issues (both in the US and abroad), and to research and strategize an approach for the conservation profession. Is anyone else tired of expending our time for pocket change; I believe it is clearly time for a change!

These are just some of my initial thoughts on this issue; I’d love to hear the thoughts of others….

Si Se Puede,

Daniel Cull.

Other Emerging Leader Groups

Hey emerging conservators, it’s time for you to get to know your peers, to share your work, and to get informed about the larger world of conservation. AIC is actively working to form a group that will serve the needs of emerging conservators. Do you want to have a say? A role? Do you have an opinion about what that this group should become?

Lucky for us, there are already some models to look at. AAM now has an Emerging Museum Professionals Group, and a group of recent graduates in Canada just started the Canadian Association of Emerging Conservators which has just been accepted as an ad hoc committee of the Canadian Association for Conservation. Although their missions and scope are probably different from what this group is likely to become, it is helpful to be able to look at what has, and has, not worked for them.


The EMP group was started by a handful of AAM’s emerging staffers who recognized that people new to the museum field needed a better roadmap for career development and networking. This page isn’t about us though. It’s about you. Please share your ideas with us and get involved.” (taken from the AAM website June 6, 2008, www.aam-us.org/getinvolved/emp/index.cfm)

The EMP group have presences on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and have a Google Discussion Group. AAM/EMP staff created a kit for those interested in planning an event that lays out very clearly the steps needed to have a successful event. Meet-ups have started around the country. In April 2008, there were events in Washington D.C. and New York City. At the annual AAM meeting in April, there were several EMP events, including question and answer sessions with established professionals, and open mic night at a local bookstore.


“The Canadian Association of Emerging Conservators (CAEC-ACRE) has been formed by the six post-graduate interns in the first cycle of the re-instated Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) advanced internship program. Observing the imminent retirement of many veteran CCI staff members, and finding themselves in an ideal situation to form a group, the interns determined to form an association whose main purpose is to address the issue of the ‘knowledge gap’ in the field, to aid in efficient succession planning and to work to promote the interests of new conservation professionals.

The CAEC is pleased to announce that as of a vote taken on May 6th at the Canadian Association for Conservation (CAC) Board meeting, the CAEC is an official Ad Hoc Committee of the CAC. This status is meant to be temporary, meaning that in a year’s time a vote by the CAC membership at large, to be taken at the 2009 Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, will determine whether the CAEC is to become a regular CAC Standing Committee. The intervening year will be an opportunity for both the CAEC and the CAC to test the waters in terms of a working relationship and to begin the task of tackling the issues that are of greatest concern to emerging conservators.” (taken from the CAEC website June 6, 2008, http://caecacre.wordpress.com/caec/ )

YMP Blog

There is also a young museum professionals blog that is “dedicated to new museum professionals which is a more open forum. There is a link to the blog on the AAM/EMP website, but it seems to be run through a team of contributors, not through AAM. Some of their recent posts include:

· Museums: A Hot Bed of Liberalism? – Jun 5, 2008

· The Salary Conundrum – May 8, 2008

· Report on the next generation of nonprofit leaders – Mar 6, 2008

If you know any further information about this blog we are interested in hearing!

So Now What?

So now is the time to think about what you as an emerging conservator, or you who were once an emerging conservator, want from this group. Please fill out the survey and keep checking this blog- and leave comments. We anticipate discussions of Certification and other topics to begin popping up soon! In case you have a question you do not want to publicly post, and would like to respond to us as emerging conservators, please email Rachel (Buffalo ’07) or Laura (NYU ’08) at art.conservation.nation@gmail.com.

The Emerging Leaders Network Survey

Your network needs your voice! To best gauge the direction in which the Emerging Leaders Network should go, we would like to extend this short survey to you. We want to make sure that we can gather the most information we can on how best we can serve our constituent members. Your answers to this survey will be kept confidential.

Please forward the survey to your colleagues. Results will be analyzed and reported on the Emerging Leaders Network Blog.

Amber Kerr-Allison to Serve as an Advisor on the Certification Task Force

Please join me in welcoming Amber Kerr-Allison as the new Emerging Leader Network advisor on the AIC Certification Task Force! Please see the short bio below for more information about her.

Amber Kerr-Allison, Graduate Fellow
Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation
Class of 2008
Prior to entering the field of conservation, Amber spent nine years working as a manager in marketing, design and business development for Motorola, Inc. She completed her undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art History and a minor degree in Glass Blowing. During her undergraduate studies, Amber interned with private conservator Cleo Mullins at the Richmond Conservation Studio and was an active member of the Virginia Conservation Association, where she served as Publication Chair. After graduation, Amber relocated to Raleigh, NC where she interned at both the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Regional Conservation Center and the private conservation studio of Ruth Barach Cox. To further her experience, she worked at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she assisted in the relocation and storage of the collection during the museum’s renovation and compiled a preventive care and general housekeeping manual for the museum. She is currently a third-year graduate fellow in paintings conservation at the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Her 2006 summer internship was at the Château de Parentignat in France under the direction of Dr. William Whitney, professor of Paintings Conservation at the Sorbonne and the Institute Français de Restauration des Oeuvres d’Art (IFROA) and her second summer internship was at the National Museum of American Illustration conserving a mural by American artist James Wall Finn. She is completing her internship year at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lunder Conservation Center in Washington, DC, where she will continue as SAAM’s first Lunder Conservation Fellow after receiving her Masters of Science in Paintings Conservation this summer.

Please feel free to contact Amber with all your questions/concerns about the certification process by e-mailing her at amberkerr@aol.com.