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15 thoughts from the scaffold conserving works in public
Coffee talks
Thoughts from the Scaffold: Conserving Works in Public
Wednesday, December 12

Recently art restoration and conservation have emerged from museum back rooms and moved into the public square. Headlines about such work focus the public’s attention on great masterpieces restored as well as the unmasking of potential fakes and other rare events. Yet such breathless reports rarely if ever account for the slow process that goes on in conservation studios every day. How does that unglamorous work and the lessons it has to tell us about the works themselves translate to an Instagram public? Some museums have undertaken to do restoration work in public as another means of capturing public attention as well as explaining the work of conservators. These projects raise important questions about the appropriate role of such efforts in educating the public about the role of conservation and the complexity of what conservators do. This panel, comprised of conservators from leading international institutions, examines these questions and how to balance them with long standing conservation and museum practices.

This program was organized in association with the Association of Professional Art Advisors.

Claire Barry
Director, Conservation, Kimbell Art Museum
Michael Gallagher
Sherman Fairchild Chairman, Paintings Conservation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Robert van Langh
Head, Department of Conservation and Science, Rijksmuseum
Jim Coddington
Former Chief Conservator, Museum of Modern Art