Beginning in late 1980s, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) offered short and long-term courses on rock art conservation and rock art site protection and management, including on-site training for those responsible for the protection of rock art sites.

In 1987, the Institute held its first short-term course on rock art conservation. Topics of this and the subsequent short-term GCI rock art courses included the examination and documentation of sites; causes of deterioration; protective measures; and site interpretation with an emphasis on site protection. Site visits in California to Painted Rock--an important rock art site 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles--provided an overview of the conservation of rock art with attention to dating, documentation, interpretation, and treatment to address site and surface deterioration.

In 1989, the GCI and the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now the University of Canberra) in Australia collaborated on a one-year graduate diploma course on the subject. The course focused on understanding rock art as an element of material culture found around the world; methods of producing rock art; theory and practice of recording and conserving rock art; management requirements for rock art sites; and identifying and planning for applied research in the field of rock art conservation. The graduates of the program subsequently participated in a month-long GCI conservation project at the site of Painted Rock.

Growing out of the Institute's rock art conservation training activity was the GCI's field project on the Rock Art of Baja California, conducted in the mid-1990s.

Related articles in Conservation, the GCI Newsletter

Canvas of the Millennia (Summer, 1998)
Conserving the Rock Art of Baja California (Summer, 1996)
Conservation and Management of Rock Art Sites (Fall, 1995)