From September 24 to 25, 1996, the Getty Conservation Institute's Visiting Committee will make its first visit to the GCI at its new home in the Getty Center.
Since its inception, the Institute has benefited from the advice and counsel of its Visiting Committee. Composed of distinguished experts from diverse areas of the conservation field, the Committee was formed by Harold Williams, President of the J. Paul Getty Trust, to advise him and the GCI's Director on the Institute's program policy and endeavors. The first official meeting of the Committee was held in 1983—even before the Institute was officially established. During those early years the Committee helped give shape and direction to an organization that was still in the process of being born. While membership in the group over time has changed, it has continued to play an important role as the Institute's staff has ventured into new areas of research, training, and documentation, as well as out into field projects.
Today the Committee meets every 9 to 12 months with the GCI's senior staff, its Director, and the President of the Getty Trust, in order to review the activities of the Institute and to consider plans for the future. These gatherings focus on important new developments, as well as on providing Committee members with updates on Institute projects. The meetings, which last several days, include presentations by staff and extensive discussions, and they conclude with an executive session between the Committee and the Trust's President.
Paul Perrot, who was among the conservation experts consulted by the Getty Trust in the days before the GCI was created, has served on the Visiting Committee for the past four years. He sees the Committee's function, in part, as planting ideas and being "the impartial reactor" to the Institute's activities. He also believes that the group "acts as a sounding board for the staff and Director, as well as for Harold Williams, and serves as ears for the Institute in passing on the reactions and questions that the conservation field may have regarding the approach the Institute is taking to conservation issues."
One approach that has been gratifying to the Visiting Committee is the Institute's current push toward greater interdisciplinarity in its work. "I think that there is great enthusiasm on the part of the members of the Committee," says Mr. Perrot. "At the last few meetings, there was a sense that things were jelling."
For Harold Williams, the President of the Getty Trust, the Visiting Committee "fulfills a very important function for the Institute—as similar committees do for the other Getty entities—by playing the role of loving critic, bringing a depth of understanding to its examination of the Institute's work."
CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE VISITING COMMITTEE
Selma Al-Radi, Consultant Archaeologist Research Associate, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York
Agnes Gräfin Ballestrem, Director, Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science, Amsterdam
Heather Lechtman, Director, Center for Material Research in Archaeology and Ethnology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Augusto Molina Montes, Professor, National Institute of Anthropology and History, Mexico City
Paul N. Perrot, Retired Director, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Joyce Hill Stoner, Director, Art Conservation Program, University of Delaware, Newark
Norman H. Tennent, Conservation Consultant Associate Scientist, Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science, Amsterdam
Hubertus von Sonnenburg, Chairman, Paintings Conservation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Arthur Beale, Director of Research, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Gérard Bolla, Advisor to the Director General of UNESCO, Paris
Norman Brommelle, Secretary General, IIC, London
W. Thomas Chase, Head Conservator, Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution
William Considine, Retired Vice President, Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Hawthorne, New York
Gaël de Guichen, Assistant to the Director for Special Programs, ICCROM, Rome
Jorge E. Hardoy, President, Instituto Internacional del Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo iied-América Latina
Christian Lahanier, Laboratoire de Recherche des Musées de France Palais du Louvre, Paris
Hubert Landais, Former Director, Musées de France, Palais du Louvre, Paris
Herbert Lank, Picture Restorer, London
Liliane Masschelein-Kleiner, Director, Institut Royal de Patrimoine Artistique, Brussels
Evan Turner, Director, Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland