Fellowships: GCI Professional Fellowships, Getty Conservation Institute (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

  • Completed application materials must be received on or before January 31, 2017.

The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), works internationally to advance conservation practice in the visual arts, broadly interpreted to include objects, collections, architecture, and sites. It serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, model field projects, and the broad dissemination of the results of both its own work and the work of others in the field.
The GCI is pleased to announce a new employment opportunity for emerging conservation professionals: GCI Professional Fellowships. Made possible through onetime funding, the GCI is making available three Professional Fellowships, each of three-year duration, from June 2017 to May 2020. The successful candidates will work at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California.
The GCI Professional Fellowships are designed to provide emerging practitioners with in-depth opportunities to build and strengthen their skills and experience as conservation professionals, while working under the guidance of experienced GCI staff. GCI Professional Fellows will participate in the ongoing work of the GCI as full members of the Getty’s professional community. Professional development will be encouraged and assisted through participation in professional meetings, conferences, or workshops. Fellows’ research outcomes will be disseminated through publications and conference presentations.
Fellowships Available:
– Managing Collection Environments Initiative (Job# 2016-2882)
– Asian and European Lacquer Analysis project (Job # 2016-2884)
– Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (Job# 2016-2885)
Applications are accepted via the Getty’s Job Opportunities site. Please consult the links above to read full position descriptions and requirements for each fellowship and to submit an application and supporting materials.
Candidates will be selected on a competitive basis. An excellent benefits package and salary commensurate with qualifications and experience will be provided.
If you have specific questions about the Professional Fellowships, please email gcistaffing@getty.edu.

43rd Annual Meeting – Architecture Specialty Group – May 15, Concrete Actions to Extreme Risks: Conservation of Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage site in danger, IQUIQUE, Chile, Alicia Fernandez Boan

Humberstone Salitrera Iquique Chile taken by Carlos Valera on December 30, 2012
Humberstone Salitrera Iquique Chile taken by Carlos Valera on December 30, 2012

During the Architecture Specialty Group Session, Alicia Fernandez Boan focused on the conservation efforts and needs for two World Monument sites that represent the salt peter mining era in Chile.
The salt peter works are remains of human activity in the Atacama desert. Operation began as part of Peruvian territory in mid-19th century. They were declared world heritage sites in 2005. Humberstone and Santa Laura represent over 200 salt peter works that once existed. The Atacama desert has a temperature extremes from 0 deg c at night to 40 deg c midday, which takes it’s toll on the built environment. The cultural landscape is made up of the structures and surrounding site that is formed due to the accumulation of byproducts of the mining efforts.
At Humberstone, the structures and buildings of the community remain — church, school houses. Alternately, Santa Laura is representative of the industrial sectors found in saltpeter works. The materials are exposed to extreme weather. The structures are also exposed to salts and chemicals that were part of the production. There are dozens of rust colored structures. They include generalized corrosion and galvanized losses.
In order to maintain these sites, several factors must be considered. The conservation of urban sites requires establishment of commercial activity so that the site can be self-sufficient and sustainable. Therefore rehabilitation, recycling, controlled use, and the reoccupation of the territory is greatly needed. Use of these sites as museums documenting the industrial age of salt works is currently happening but more is needed. Rehabilitation, recycling, controlled use, the reoccupation of the territory works will be necessary for the long-term preservation of the sites.
From a conservation standpoint, the sites have conservations needs but they offer the possibility of a conservation field laboratory. This is a place where cleaning tests and environmental aging tests could offer substantial information to the preservation community. The sites offer the ability to study corrosion on a monumental scale under extreme weather conditions.

43rd Annual Meeting – Opening Session, May 14, Concrete Conclusions: Surface treatment Trails for Conserving the Miami Marine Stadium by John A. Fidler, Rosa Lowinger, et. al.

Miami Marine Stadium by El Gringo. Taken August 16 2011.
Miami Marine Stadium by El Gringo. Taken August 16 2011.

“This presentation by John A. Fidler and Rosa Lowinger focused on testing cleaning methods for removal of graffiti from concrete surfaces at the Miami Marine Stadium. The work is being undertaken by the Friends of the Miami  Marine Stadium with funding by the Getty Foundation.
The stadium is an excellent modernist structure designed by the Cuban-American Architect, Hilario Candela. The building includes a 326 foot-long cantilevered thin shell concrete roofline that is among the longest in the world. The Stadium was created for speedboat racing but was also used as a concert venue, and featured artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Sammy Davis Jr, and more. The stadium is owned by the city. It was closed in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew and has fallen into a state of disrepair. It has become the central site for graffiti artists in the Miami area and the surfaces of the stadium are covered with multiple layers of graffiti.
Because of it’s unique and original mid-century design, the Miami Marine Stadium is the recipient of the Getty Foundation Keeping It Modern Initiative funding. This is one of nine structures to have received this type of grant. This funding has allowed for testing graffiti removal methods and evaluating concrete repair materials for the project. This 12 month testing phase is due to be completed this summer, but the project will be on-going.
The Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium are working diligently to save this structure from a city demolition order that was issued in 1993. There is concern about the welfare of the deteriorating concrete and the structure’s hurricane resistance. The project requires both civil engineering expertise and conservation skills. In addition to materials conservation issues, the cultural and social use of the site as a graffiti sanctuary must also be addressed. Repair of the concrete in many places will require the removal of many of the graffiti works. While much of the graffiti designs are undertaken using acrylic or polyurethane enamel car touch up paint, there are more than 200 types of paint materials used to create the graffiti art.
The project will require graffiti management for current and possible future tagging. Initial meetings were held with the graffiti artists to convey that there is intent to honor the role of their work, to record the work, and to provide creative ways to archive or show the work. In the future there may be walls placed for graffiti artists to continue their efforts.
Current conservation research efforts are focusing on three lines of study – graffiti removal, anti-graffiti protection, concrete repair. Graffiti removal is focusing on both mechanical and chemical methods of removal. Mechanical techniques include dry-ice abrasion and/or laser cleaning. This may also be followed by chemical methods such as Dumond’s Smart Strip Pro, or custom chemical blends using 5% formic acid and benzyl alcohol. To protect surfaces from new graffiti additions, anti-graffiti barriers are being tested. These treatments may include Dumond Chemical Watch Dog, as well as Keim, and Prosoco products.
Concrete patch repair is focusing on stable long-term materials. Worldwide over 90% of concrete repairs fail within 10 years. Thus, it is important to test potential patch materials in actual environments prior to treatment. Also, the surface textures and finishes will be a challenge to conservators. Materials selected for testing include:

  • SIKA Mono-top
  • BASF Emaco Repair
  • Edison Coatings System 45
  • Cathedral Stone Jahn M90
  • Custom Mixes

Results of this research will both guide the treatment of the Miami Marine Stadium and serve as a guide for the treatment of other mid-century modern concrete buildings and structures.

39th Annual Meeting – Architecture Session, June 3, “Conservation of Dalle de Verre at the New York Hall of Science” by Laura Buchner and Chris Gembinski, Building Conservation Associates, Inc.

Laura Buchner and Chris Gembinski gave a fascinating presentation on the conservation of dalle de verre glass panels at the New York Hall of Science, a building erected for the 1964 World’s Fair.  Unlike many buildings erected for world’s fairs, the New York Hall of Science was always meant to be a permanent structure.  The Great Hall is a 90-feet high ribbon-like structure of dalle de verre glass panels.  The exhibition during the 1964 World’s Fair, “Rendezvous in Space”, made use of the deep cobalt blue dalles, highlighted by bits of ruby, green and gold, which give the interior the appearance of stepping into the cosmos.

The authors presented a brief description of how dalle de verre panels were made, both for this building and for typical buildings of the era.  According to the authors, 1964 was a transition period when Willet Studios, a manufacturer of dalle de verre panels, began switching from the poured concrete panels used at the Great Hall, to an epoxy matrix.

In 2005, BCA began restoring the Great Hall.  The goals of the project were to preserve the “experience of the building” and to address most of the deterioration and moisture-infiltration issues related to the building, but it was acknowledged by all parties involved that it would be impossible to cure all of the moisture-related problems due to the nature of original construction materials.  The authors explained how they treated the typical conditions–cracks, erosion of the matrix, spalls of the concrete matrix, cracked glass, biological growth, and exposed reinforcement mesh.  They replaced several panels with new dalle de verre set in an epoxy matrix, and rearranged some existing panels to minimize differences in light transmission between new and old units.  They repaired cracks by injection and surface-application methods, and used a consolidant and water-repellant to reduce further deterioration of the panels.  They also used a migrating corrosion inhibitor to reduce corrosion of rebar in the concrete grid.

The presentation was clear, informative, and well organized, and the conservation work looks expertly performed.  I enjoyed learning about dalle de verre, as I was not familiar with it prior to the talk.  I especially appreciated the authors’ willingness to share their experience using specific products, and the steps they took to maximize the efficacy of these products.