IIC's Jane Henderson shares Plowden Medal 2021

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The Plowden Medal for Conservation Awarded to Professor Jane Henderson and Stephen Clare MBE for Services to the Conservation Profession

Read more in the October - November edition of News in Conservation.

IIC is very pleased that our Secretary-General Professor Jane Henderson shares the Plowden Medal for Conservation, 2021.

It was awarded to Professor Jane Henderson and Stephen Clare MBE at St James’s Palace on 29 September 2021 in recognition of their contribution to the field of conservation. Based in Cardiff, Professor Jane Henderson received the award for her outstanding leadership and development of new generations of conservation professionals, her essential role in the development of the profession and her continuing commitment to bringing leading research and innovations into conservation practice in the UK and internationally.

She comments, “Conservation is such a wonderful profession. We are a group of people whose passion is to make things that are special to people stay special. To be recognised along with Stephen Clare for having made an outstanding contribution to an outstanding profession is truly thrilling.”

Stephen Clare MBE, Director of Holy Well Glass, is a stained glass conservator based in Somerset who received the award for his outstanding contribution to stained glass conservation and his advocacy for, and support of, student and early career stained glass conservators. Alongside Stephen’s outstanding conservation treatment, his commitment to the dissemination of good practice and the professional training of highly skilled conservators is Stephen's long-term legacy to stained glass conservation.

About the Plowden Medal

Established in 1999 to commemorate the life and work of the late Hon. Anna Plowden CBE (1938 – 1997), the gold medal was endowed by the Royal Warrant Holders Association, of which she was Vice-President. The Plowden Medal is awarded annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the conservation profession and whose nomination would be widely welcomed within the conservation community. It covers all aspects of conservation be they practical, theoretical or managerial – and is open to those working in private practice or institutions. A Selection Board drawn from the conservation community, the Royal Collection and the Royal Warrant Holders Association selects the winner from the nominations. This year the board were so impressed with the entries that they decided to present the medal to two individuals.

Full citation

Professor Jane Henderson's full citation reads:

"Professor Jane Henderson MSc, FIIC, ACR, SFHEA

For her outstanding leadership and development of new generations of conservation professionals, her essential role in the development of the profession and her continuing commitment to bringing leading research and innovations into conservation practice in the UK and internationally.

Within the academic, conservation and wider heritage conservation profession, Jane Henderson is a recognised as a leading educator and thinker and is well known as a champion of conservation practice. She is never afraid to challenge the status quo, developing conservation professionals who bring not only expertise to bear but the ability to adapt and develop in diverse and challenging environments, from the 2010 credit crunch to the Antarctic Survey and finding a professional route through the pandemic.

Jane’s work has led to the graduation of 100s of archaeology, conservation and collection care professionals, developed capability and capacity in conservation internationally and brought innovative and effective approaches in influence directly into conservation practice. She has contributed to the development of the profession through her contributions to the Institute of Conservation, International Institute for Conservation, British Standards Institute, Collections Trust and many more. She had been a valued advisor and advocate for conservation and collections in Wales working locally to secure provision and nationally with government leading to new approaches to national collections.

As an academic embedded in practice, Jane has consistently brought research-led innovation to conservation theory and practice. Throughout her career she has challenged traditional structures of conservation decision making, supported sustainability practice and worked with conservation professionals on communication and influence in conservation practice. Her work “Beyond lifetimes: who do we exclude when we keep things for the future?” has challenged the conservation and heritage profession to reassess the approach to conservation decision making, stimulating substantial discussion within the sector on the role and weight of life experience alongside the life expectancy in the preservation of historic materials and settings

Jane’s work continues to support the profession to be effective and innovative during times of challenges and opportunity and she is regularly sought out to deliver influencing advice and training in conservation and heritage settings both locally and nationally. Her work on communication and its role in conservation practice has made significant contributions to new tools to support practice, including the pest occurrence index that has been adopted by Conserv as the basis for their integrated pest management software.

As a Professor at Cardiff University, the Secretary General of the Institute for Conservation and an active member of the conservation profession Jane is generous with her knowledge, expertise and networks. Her commitment to and success in the profession can be seen not only in her boundary-pushing research, her visibility in the community and generations of conservation professionals but also in the role she continues to play in the practice and careers of conservators and heritage professionals nationally and internationally."

Nominations for the Plowden Medal 2022 will open in January. For more details visit: https://www.royalwarrant.org/ and for enquiries contact Claire Anderson: plowdenmedal@rwha.co.uk.

(You can also read about this year's Plowden Medal awardees in the October-November 2021 "News in Conservation" Issue 86. Access this issue from the IIC homepage)