DepositDeveloping a Master Plan for Environmental Improvements and Energy Conservation

Historic New England (HNE) requests funding for a master plan to evaluate energy conservation options and control system upgrades at its collections storage facility in Haverhill, MA. HNE maintains the most comprehensive and best-documented collection of New England decorative arts and household artifacts in the country, a rich resource for scholars and exhibitions. Despite efforts since 1989, environmental controls at the facility have remained problematic. With the purchase of the building in 2006, HNE is now in a position to develop a comprehensive approach using all available techniques. HNE has assembled a multidisciplinary project team who can study the interactions of the building envelope and mechanical systems for the entire facility. Expected outcomes include cost-effective solutions that can be shared with other museums, as well as an improved storage facility that is financially and environmentally sustainable and can house expanded public programming.

MemberFletcher Durant

…American Institute for Conservation

American Library Association

Society of American Archivists

Association of College and Research Libraries

Association of Library Collections and Technical Services…
…2008   MSIS, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin
2008   Certificate of Advanced Study in the Preservation and Conservation of Library and Archival Materials, Kilgarlin Center for the Preservation of the Cultural Record, University of Texas at Austin
2003    BA, History, Wesleyan University…

Fletcher Durant is the Preservation Librarian at the University of Florida Smathers Libraries. His work focuses on the preventive conservation of library and archival materials, the sustainability of cultural heritage, and risk management. He is a trained book and paper conservator and a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation. Prior to joining the University of Florida, he was the Preservation Archivist for NYU Libraries and an Assistant Conservator for Special Collection at the New York Public Library.

MemberSarah Reidell

…“Replicating Original Leather Surfaces with Textured Repairs” at the Leather in Book Conservation Pre-session Symposium, The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC) Annual Meeting, Houston TX. May 29, 2018. …
…American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Fellow…
…Margy E. Meyerson Head Of Conservation, Kislak Center For Special Collections, Rare Books And Manuscripts…

Sarah Reidell is the Margy E. Meyerson Head of Conservation in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries where she supervises and manages the activities and staff within the new Steven Miller Conservation Laboratory. A conservator of rare books, paper, and parchment, she is responsible for the care and treatment of the special collections, consisting of about 300,000 rare books and 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts. Working with the Associate University Librarian/Director of the Kislak Center for Special Collections and other Library staff, she is developing and implementing a new conservation program for the long-term sustainability of the Libraries’ special collections holdings. Sarah holds an MLIS/CAS in Conservation (University of Texas) and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (Bryn Mawr College). A Fellow of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC), she serves as the AIC Publications Committee Chair. She also lectures and leads hands-on professional development workshops for conservators on areas of technical expertise and conservation practice.

MemberVanessa Muros

…Conservation Specialist and Lecturer…
…UCLA/Getty Conservation Program…
…I received a BA in Archaeology from Boston University and an MA in Archaeology from University College London. I then completed an MSc conservation at University College London focusing on the conservation of archaeological and ethnographic objects. I’m currently working towards my PhD at the Laboratory of Archaeometry, Univ. of the Peloponnese….

I am archaeological conservator specializing in the conservation of inorganic materials, mainly metals and glass.  My research interests are in the deterioration of archaeological materials and technical studies of archaeological objects. I am currently completing a PhD focusing on the technology and trade of Late Bronze Age glass in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean with a focus on material from sites on the periphery or outside palatial Mycenaean Greece. I also work as a conservator on several archaeological excavations and am currently working on projects in Greece and Peru.

DepositFrom Collection Management to Content Management in Art Documentation: The Conservator as an Editor

It has been widely acknowledged that reinstallations and re-executions of contemporary artworks substantially rely on available documentation. Especially for installations and performances it is crucial to record the artist’s intent, past iterations, and tacit knowledge involved in staging the artwork. The growing presence of contemporary artworks in museum collections increases the importance of documentation as a central focus of collection care. However, collections management systems have limitations in adequately presenting these often rich forms of documentation. Consequently, documentation required for presenting a specific complex artwork is often dispersed across multiple systems, drives, and dossiers inside various departments. In recent years, several initiatives responded to these challenges by implementing a digital platform supporting the conservation of contemporary art. Collaborative networked software such as wiki came into focus as a prominent choice for managing the related documentation. The wiki promises to integrate diverse material in one place and accommodate much-needed requirements such as multiple iterations of an artwork, relations between its elements, and multimedia content. This paper takes the case of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)’s experimental use of MediaWiki to determine whether and under what conditions a wiki is capable of supporting collection care sufficiently in terms of documenting time-based media art. The case further illustrates the consequence of adopting a content management system as knowledge base for conservation. While collections management systems are designed primarily to handle objects using forms, wikis are publishing platforms in the first place and provide a different kind of framework for artwork records. They are designed to employ text and media to compose articles. We propose to conceptualise this consequential role of conservator as a manager of content, an editor.

DepositDissonant sustainabilities? Politicising and psychologising antagonisms in the conservation-development nexus.

Reflecting on more than twenty years engagement with the idea that development and economic growth are essential for ensuring environmental conservation and sustainability, a key experience for me has been that of dissonance. In this talk I draw on the concept of ‘dissonance’ as explored some decades ago by psychologist Leon Festinger in A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957). I focus in particular on how the coherence of sustainability discourses can be maintained precisely by managing, and often excluding, contradictory information, however robustly argued and evidenced that information might be. My intention is to highlight ways in which this management of dissonance is also ideological in nature, with implications for understanding the antagonisms with which sustainability discourse is infused.