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Who Cares?

Who Cares?  Me, and now everybody.

It’s impossible to attend every conservation-related conference or symposium. This summer, I missed what was perhaps one of the best conferences about the conservation of contemporary art in the past 10 years: Contemporary Art: Who Cares? Research and Practices in Contemporary Art Conservation. It was organized by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN), Foundation for the Conservation of Contemporary Art in the Netherlands (SBMK), and the University of Amsterdam (UvA).  The symposium was an activity of the International Network for the Conservation of Contemporary Art (INCCA).  It was held in Amsterdam June 9-11, 2010.

Shortly after the conference concluded, I interviewed Karen te Brake-Baldock on Art:21’s blog about the initial outcomes. When I was working on that interview and considering what I had missed, it occurred to me that, though there were many great talks, I really would have liked to hear those by Charles Esche, the Director of van Abbemuseum and Peter van Mensch, professor of cultural history at the Reinwardt Academie (Amsterdam). Well, now we can all hear these talks, and the rest of that were presented.

Charles Esche:

Charles Esche – Van Abbemuseum from incca on Vimeo.

Peter van Mensche:

Peter van Mensch – Reinwardt Academie from incca on Vimeo.

Both talks challenge us to re-think some of the purposes of museums and the display of artwork within them.  I’ll not go into a summary or any kind of critique of any of the talks, but instead simply encourage you to go check the complete list out.  Here’s a complete list of the talks.  Thanks, INCCA, for making the conference available online and letting me “attend” from my own home.

Filed under: Conservation


Wikipedia & the Cultural Sector: A Lecture and Workshop

Here’s a guest post by Lori Byrd Phillips, who is probably the busiest graduate student in the IUPUI Museum Studies Program. In addition to her coursework, she’s my teaching assistant for the Collections Care and Management course, developing the IMA’s E-Volunteer Program, interning as the in-house Wikipedian at The Children’s Museum, and a project leader for Wikipedia Saves Public Art.

The truly dedicated IMA blog reader will know that Richard has been interested in putting information about art in Wikipedia for some time, and will also remember that the IMA has been interested in doing the same: from participating in the project Wikipedia Loves Art, to Max having lunch with local Wikipedians, to a number of folks from the IMA participating in the Wikimedia-sponsored event at Museums and the Web this year.

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Filed under: Conservation, Current Events, Local


A CoOL Resource is walked out the door. (Thank you Walter Henry!)

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CoOL logo

I remember the first time I saw the CoOL web page (Conservation Online).  It was about 1995 and I was a student working in the Lilly Library’s Book Conservation department when Jim Canary told me to check it out.

I really can’t think of a topic that isn’t covered at CoOL.  I can remember spending hours digging around all of the pages when I first saw it.  It seemed to answer all of my questions about my interest in the profession and point to ones that I hadn’t thought of.  Have a look at all of the “Conservation Topics,” or look at the number of national and international organizations who have their home pages associated with CoOL.  Dig around there.  It’s amazing.

Perhaps most importantly, though, look at the ConsDistList, an e-mail distribution list that at last count had just under 10,000 subscribers.  This dist list has been going strong since 1988 and has been one of the most important ways for conservators to share and find information on a truly international level.  It has been the central hub for information sharing within the conservation community.

Yesterday that changed when Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources announced that Stanford is no longer going to support CoOL and that the ConsDistList had produced its last instance.  Bang.  It’s over.

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Filed under: Conservation, Current Events


On Acquiring and Looking after “Len”

As an art conservator here at the IMA, I’m always interested to hear what people have to say about their experiences with art. But having Tyler Green over at MAN say that he’s bummed he didn’t get to climb on our Orly Genger installation, well, that really piqued my interest. Of course, you know, Tyler, Len is named after the famous body builder, Len Sell, and I think our “Len” would be able to fend for himself if you came climbing around here. I agree with Tyler though that this installation is different in many ways from her previous installations that were meant to be more directly interacted with.

In addition to Tyler’s post, Ms. Genger’s installation was also discussed in Interior Design and Ana Finel Honigman interviewed Ms. Genger over at Saatchi Online. Don’t forget Ms. Genger herself wrote a post for this blog back in December.

Almost the whole installation

Almost the whole installation

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Filed under: Art, Conservation, Current Events, Exhibitions, Interviews


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