IIC was delighted to present its first Student & Emerging Conservator Conference, held at the very centre of London, in Bloomsbury, at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.
Conservation: Futures and Responsibilities
The conference focused on the relationship between conservation education and the actualities of conservation in practice. It aimed to offer an international perspective and to facilitate communication between students and emerging conservators on the one hand and, on the other, professionals active in the field of conservation in national institutions and museums as well as in the private sector. One of our main objectives was to enable dialogue and debate about current needs in conservation, and the relationship between expectations and reality in conservation education and work. The themes discussed were supported by visits to some of central London’s conservation studios, at both not-for-profit cultural institutions and conservation businesses.
The Conference had a two-day format and the programme was broadly as follows:
Friday 16th September
After registration, for participants able to attend in person the morning of the first day was devoted to visits to conservation studios, followed by a Live Web Broadcast session in the afternoon and a wine reception in the evening.
Saturday 17th September
The morning and afternoon of the second day was devoted to two Live Web Broadcast sessions, followed by a closing reception.
The presentations were held in the form of live Web Broadcasts from the Conference venue, in IIC’s familiar Round Table format, which allowed an international community of speakers and participants to join the conference, either in person or on-line. Participants, including those attending via the web, were able to ask questions and join in the debate.
Conservation professionals, active in the private sector as well as in museums/galleries/training institutions, discussed their career paths and work experience and addressed the relationship between their expectations at the outset of their careers and the reality of where they are now and where they see themselves going. Speakers gave their views on the future of the profession, and the evolution of the conservators’ responsibilities. Experienced conservators addressed the issues of getting started, professional accreditation, and setting up one’s own business, as well as looking at conservation training.
Though held in London, this was an international conference and we hope the event provided a useful platform for the exchange of ideas among those studying conservation, archaeology, art history, curatorship and related disciplines, people who are soon to share the professional responsibility for a wide array of heritage-related issues.
Edited transcripts of the three sessions can be downloaded here