Free Lecture Series Explores Topics Ranging from the Conservation of Contemporary Art to the Preservation of the Declaration of Independence
October 19, 2005
LOS ANGELES—The Getty’s free public lecture series, Conservation Matters: Lectures at the Getty, will resume in October with seven talks covering a range of topics from the unique challenges of preserving modern and contemporary art, to the conservation of America’s historic charters of freedom.
Conservation Matters, a lecture series presented by the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), brings attention to some of the most pressing concerns facing the conservation of art and historic sites today. With a diverse range of topics and dynamic speakers that include experts and international leaders in the field, the series appeals to conservation professionals and the general public alike.
This latest series opens on October 20 with a look at the difficulties of preserving modern and contemporary art, which increasingly involves ephemeral materials of a fugitive and temporal nature. Jim Coddington, the Agnes Gund Chief Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, will explain how conservators, faced with an expanding range of media, are learning to work in an ever-changing field. On November 17, Joyce Hill Stoner, an art historian and paintings conservator, and the director of the Preservation Studies Doctoral Program at the University of Delaware, will explore the close and complex relationship between conservators and living artists, drawing on her experiences working with the Wyeth family of artists.
For the first lecture of 2006 on January 24, Anne Cartier-Bresson, the founder, chief curator, and director of the Atelier for the Restoration and Conservation of Photographs of the City of Paris (ARCP), will examine the photographic heritage of the city of Paris. She will describe how the prints and negatives held in the city’s museums, libraries, and archives are being stored and preserved while simultaneously being made more widely available to the public and scholars. The series continues on February 16 with a fascinating look at efforts to preserve some of the United States’ most cherished historical documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. This lecture is presented by Doris A. Hamburg, the director of preservation programs at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. On March 16, Giacomo Chiari, chief scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute, will talk about the scientific side of conservation work, drawing on his experience working on Michelangelo's Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel as well as on his study of the intriguing ancient pigment Maya Blue.
The series will draw to a close with lectures in April and May. Details for the final two lectures will be posted on the Getty Web site as soon as they are made available. The public should check the event calendar at www.getty.edu for the latest updates.
In addition to the GCI’s Conservation Matters series, there will be a special panel discussion about the preservation of Los Angeles’ continually changing landscape, to be held on November 1, 2005, at the Skirball Center. This discussion is coorganized by the Skirball Cultural Center, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California, and the Los Angeles Conservancy.
Conservation Matters: Lectures at the Getty is an integral part of the GCI’s commitment to the community. The series helps to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of safeguarding cultural, artistic, and built heritage. Past lectures have looked at the sinking of Venice, the destruction of archaeological sites in Iraq, the ancient library in Alexandria, Egypt, and the unusual challenges of preserving the paintings in the Rothko Chapel in Houston.
The international conservation community is served by the GCI’s many resources, including the GCI Information Center, which holds approximately 25,000 volumes and over 500 periodicals; the comprehensive Web-based database AATA Online: Abstracts of International Conservation Literature; and a variety of publications. The GCI also offers a guest scholars program for conservators, scientists, and professionals in conservation and allied fields, and conservation internships available through the Getty. For more information about the GCI please visit www.getty.edu.
Conservation Matters: Lectures at the Getty
All lectures are free; reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call (310) 440–7300 or visit www.getty.edu. The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049.
October 20, 2005, 7:00 p.m., Museum Lecture Hall
Pondering Apelles: Conservation Approaches to Modern and Contemporary Art
The constantly expanding definition of art and the range and variety of materials used to create it presents many interesting challenges for museum curators and conservators. The fugitive and temporal nature of some art even raises the question of how to preserve the intangible in a work that will ultimately disappear. Jim Coddington will present some specific examples, as well as discuss the underlying theoretical approaches that illustrate some of the questions faced by conservators.
Jim Coddington is the Agnes Gund Chief Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he has been a conservator since 1987. During that time he has lectured and published on a number of topics, including the theory and practice of modern art conservation, digital imaging, and image processing in the conservation and structural restoration of paintings.
November 17, 2005 at 7:00 p.m., Museum Lecture Hall
Erasing Boundaries Between Artists and Conservators
What effect does the interaction between the artist and conservator have on creativity? At what point does a conservator cross the boundary and become a studio assistant rather than an advising conservator? Drawing on her personal experiences with the Wyeth family of artists as well as various outdoor muralists, Joyce Hill Stoner will examine these questions and others, and the dilemmas they pose to a conservator working with living artists.
Joyce Hill Stoner is director of the Preservation Studies Doctoral Program at the University of Delaware, where she has taught for 22 years. Both an art historian and a practicing paintings conservator, Stoner has treated paintings for many museums and private collectors and was senior conservator of the team that recently completed the five-year project of examination and treatment of Whistler's Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. She supervised the treatment of a 19' x 60' mural by N.C. Wyeth and has recently been studying the paintings of the Wyeth family.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 7:00 p.m., Museum Lecture Hall
Preservation Strategies for Photography in a World of Access
The photographic collections, prints, and negatives held in the museums, libraries, and archives of the city of Paris are among the most diverse and prestigious in the world. Anne Cartier-Bresson will describe the challenge of enhancing and preserving the city’s photographic heritage, while undertaking initiatives to make these collections accessible to a broad and enthusiastic public.
Anne Cartier-Bresson is the founder, chief curator, and director of the Atelier for the Restoration and Conservation of Photographs of the City of Paris (ARCP). She holds a Ph.D. in the history of contemporary art with a specialization in photographic conservation, and teaches at the Ecole du Louvre for the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris.
Thursday, February 16, 2006, 7:00 p.m. Harold M. Williams Auditorium
The National Archives: Preserving America’s History
This talk will recount the fascinating story of the National Archives and Records Administration’s recent monumental and complex project to conserve the nation’s cherished charters of freedom—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—as well as the renovation of the historic National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. and the William Faulkner murals in the National Archives rotunda.
Doris A. Hamburg is the director of preservation programs at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. She has spent the majority of her professional career at the Library of Congress, where she was head of preventive conservation for six years. Hamburg developed and managed a program that oversaw the preventive preservation of 110 million items, including books, manuscripts, drawings, photographs, maps, three-dimensional objects, and recordings.
Thursday, March 16, 2006, 7:00 p.m., Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Science and Conservation: Michelangelo to Bonampak or Lapis Lazuli to Maya Blue
Dr. Giacomo Chiari will discuss the variety of scientific disciplines involved in his work. He will draw on his experience with the conservation of Michelangelo's Last Judgment fresco in the Sistine Chapel, as well as on the study of the intriguing ancient pigment Maya Blue.
Giacomo Chiari is the chief scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute. His scientific contributions to the field include extensive work in crystallography, seminal research into the chemical and mineralogical characterization of earthen building materials and methods for their treatment, and the development of methods of dating mural paintings and identifying their pigments. Chiari has worked on an array of important works of art and architecture including the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the earthen architecture of the Hadhramaut region of Yemen, the painted reliefs of Huaca della Luna in Peru, and the World Heritage City of Trinidad in Cuba.
November 1, 2005 at 7:30 p.m., Magnin Auditorium, Skirball Cultural Center
Panel Discussion: Preserving Los Angeles: Buildings, Congregations, Communities
This panel discussion at the Skirball Cultural Center examines the significance of preservation within the continually changing landscapes of Los Angeles. Moderated by Frances Anderton, host of DNA: Design and Architecture and producer of To the Point and Which Way, LA?, broadcast on 89.9 KCRW and KCRW.com. Panelists include Brenda Levin, president and principal of Levin & Associates Architects; Frank Alton, pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church; Stephen J. Sass, president of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California; and attorney Susan Brandt Hawley. This discussion is coorganized by the Skirball Cultural Center, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California, and the Los Angeles Conservancy. Free. No reservations necessary.
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