Innovative Approaches to Conservation, Introduction

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Museum Computer Network Conference 2011
Innovative Approaches to Conservation
(11.00AM -- 12.30PM)

Chair: Dale Kronkright, Head of Conservation, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

1. Leveraging Preservation Funding to Enhance a Museum's Reach

Presenters: Narda Carlson, Technology Administrator, Shelburne Museum; Richard L. Kerschner, Director of Preservation
and Conservation, Shelburne Museum

The Shelburne Museum, a forty-acre campus with nearly thirty buildings, was awarded a 2009 Save America's Treasures (SAT) grant to upgrade communication infrastructure in order to improve environmental control and life safety systems. While the proposal was initiated and written by the chief conservator, input was solicited from
IT, protection services, buildings and grounds, education, finance, and development. The SAT grant has allowed us to follow best practices, collaborate, and be cost effective. This paper highlights the manner in which funding designed for one area of operation, in this case preservation, could be used to benefit other areas of the museum through interdepartmental collaboration. This presentation will have special interest to those who work in institutions in a campus setting.

2. WikiProject: Public Art
Presenter: Sarah Stierch, The George Washington University

Founded in 2009, WikiProject:PublicArt (formerly Wikipedia Saves Public Art) seeks to "...create new articles about public art, place existing articles within the context of art history and raise public awareness about their existence within communities. WikiProject:Public art is designed to be a global and multi-lingual project." In a nutshell Wikiproject:Public Art seeks to document every single work of public art in the world on Wikipedia.

By doing so, we hope to encourage public awareness, care and conservation, as well as public and scholarly dialogue about these artworks. Through geolocation, photographic documentation, and thorough research we have so far documented about 1,000 public artworks across the world. This presentation will discuss the project goals, successes and struggles in working with the public and students, copyright conflicts, mobile technology, related projects, and further opportunities to get involved in this important project.

3. Conservation in the Trenches: From the Smithsonian to Haiti
Presenter: Hugh Shockey, Conservator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

While advances in technology and science have always found their way into conservation, the explosion of technology in recent years
has done so in unexpected and dramatic ways. This presentation will focus on how technology has influenced recent conservation practice from the point of view of a museum object conservator. Topics will include demands of treating and preserving new media art, harness- ing of technology to enhance the conservator's and public's understanding of the object, and using social media to raise awareness of conservation from the Smithsonian to Haiti.

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