The third meeting organized by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in a series exploring the state of conservation science in the United States was held March 30, 2000, at the Getty Center.

The first meeting took place in February 1999 in Washington, D.C.; the second was at the Getty Center in August 1999. Both earlier meetings addressed the challenges to growth and development of conservation science in museums, but from different perspectives.

The third meeting included participants drawn from the previous meetings, among them Getty staff members from the Museum, the Conservation Institute, and the Grant Program. Participants reviewed the dual roles of science in museums—technical analysis of objects and conservation research—and the importance different institutions give to these activities. They also identified problem areas associated with educating scientists from within university programs and recruiting talented young scientists from allied fields. These problems restrict the profession's ability to provide a smooth succession of scientists, and they limit growth.

The value of conservation science in nearly every aspect of a museum's intellectual and educational life is demonstrated by the growing number of collaborative projects that combine the expertise of curators, conservators, and scientists. Participants cited numerous examples but felt that the intimidating costs of scientific laboratories were often not counterbalanced by compelling examples of how these capabilities permit the museum to carry out its mandate better and more effectively.

The meeting—chaired by Angelica Rudenstine, senior advisor, Museums and Conservation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Alberto de Tagle, group director of science at the GCI—concluded with the expression of a keen interest in seeing the dialogue continued, and in the eventual production of a set of concrete action items.

Meeting Participants

Meg Abraham
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Pieter Meyers
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Paul Whitmore
Carnegie Mellon Research Institute

René de la Rie
National Gallery of Art
Washington, D.C.

James Reilly
Image Permanence Institute
Rochester, New York

Chris McGlinchey
Museum of Modern Art
New York

Angelica Rudenstine
Museums and Conservation
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
New York

Getty Participants

Brian Considine
Conservator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture
J. Paul Getty Museum

Kathleen Dardes
Project Specialist
Getty Conservation Institute

James Druzik
Senior Scientist
Getty Conservation Institute

Narayan Khandekar
Associate Scientist
Getty Conservation Institute

Mark Leonard
Conservator of Paintings
J. Paul Getty Museum

Gary Mattison
Project Administrator
Getty Conservation Institute

John Oddy
Program Officer
Getty Grant Program

David Scott
Senior Scientist
Getty Conservation Institute

Dusan Stulik
Senior Scientist
Getty Conservation Institute

Alberto de Tagle
Group Director, Science
Getty Conservation Institute