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47 Years of Entanglement

Jonathan Ashley-Smith looking down on his (eclipsed) boss Norman Brommelle in the back.  Images courtesy of Jonathan Ashley-Smith.

By Jonathan Ashley-Smith

I converted from chemistry to conservation on 1st January 1973. The day I started work at the V&A in London was the day that the UK finally joined the European Economic Community. It was also the last New Year’s Day that was not a public holiday in England. My boss was Norman Brommelle, who at that time was in his second stint as Secretary General of IIC; a term in office that lasted from 1966-1988.

My Favorite Years: IIC Congresses since 1970

T-shirt from the 1978 IIC Congress at Oxford. T-shirt and image owned by Jean Portell.

By Joyce Hill Stoner

I was appointed managing editor of IIC’s Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts in September 1969. A year later I attended my first IIC Congress which focused on stone and wooden objects and was held in New York City, mostly in the Metropolitan Museum of Art auditorium. 

Must Haves: Conservation Publications

All book images in this article were provided by  the publishers as listed above.

We live in a time when looking back at the history of IIC and of the conservation profession can also include looking back at a long and rich history of quality publications which have withstood the test of time. It is wonderful to see so many of these books authored and complied by IIC founders, leaders, and members.

Over Time: the IIC-Student & Emerging Conservator Conferences 2011-2019

Participants talking between sessions at the 2013 IIC-SECC in Copenhagen. Photograph by Mikkel Scharff.

By Mariana Escamilla and Charlotte Hoffmann, with Jo Kirby Atkinson and Mikkel Scharff 

The IIC- Student and Emerging Conservator Conference (S&ECC) offers an open platform for young professionals to network with peers and experienced professionals while discussing relevant topics of the profession. Unlike most conservation conferences, the IIC-S&ECCs do not aim to present recent research; rather, their goal is to help develop emerging conservators and to promote the enthusiasm of students.

Obituary: John Anthony Michael Bull, FIIC (1931-2020)

Tate Gallery: John Bull, Stephan Slabchinsky, Brunio Heinberg, Percy Williams, circa 1959.

By Sarah Bull

John was born on 17th January 1931 in Bristol, England. After Bristol Grammar School, he studied Fine Art and Cabinet Making at Royal West of England College of Art, where he met his future wife of 64 years, Anne. On 12th November 1956, he began working as a junior restorer at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery starting the Monday after his marriage to Anne.

Celebrating 70 years with Slaughter and May

Sir Hilary Scott. Image courtesy of Slaughter and May.

The first meeting of what was to become the Council of IIC took place at the National Gallery in London on 6th June 1950. The business conducted included the election of the first Fellows and the establishment of arrangements for the transfer of funds to and from the United States. In attendance were IIC’s solicitors, Sir Hilary Scott and A.M. Bell, from Slaughter and May, then as now a pre-eminent London firm, founded in 1889.

The Forbes Prize Lecture, 1996 Copenhagen Congress

Conservator Anna Rosenqvist treating an animal head post from the Oseberg find. Courtesy of KHM, UiO. License through CC 4.0 BY-SA.

Delivered by Andrew Oddy

This version of the lecture reproduces excerpts of the printed text from IIC Bulletin No. 5, October 1996, pp 1-5 with minor corrections and the addition of illustrations.

Best of 2020

“Being part of the change is far more interesting than just being carried along by it…”
- Velson Horie FIIC

Unlikely to go down in history as anyone's favourite year, 2020  nevertheless saw conservators reaching out to their communities to offer what help they could - and reacting actively, not passively to the enormous changes that we faced.

Book Review: On Canvas

Front and back cover images of On Canvas courtesy of Getty Publications.

Review by Joyce Townsend

On Canvas: Preserving the Structure of Paintings
By Stephen Hackney
The Getty Conservation Institute, 2020
256 pages / $50 Getty Store / £40 Amazon / Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-60606-626-3


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