IIC Student & Emerging Conservator Conference 2019 – The Conservator’s Reflection
At the 5th IIC Student & Emerging Conservator Conference, around 120 students and graduates from 24 countries met at the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences and discussed with experts on issues relevant to the profession, such as developments in education, wages and accreditation, as well as ways to improve the visibility of the profession in institutions and the general public.
Participants of the 5th IIC Student and Emerging Conservator Conference 2019 at CICS (Image: TH Koeln - CICS - LOC - David Bijan Andree)
First paneldiscussion 'Conservator Meets Conservator' (Image: TH Koeln - CICS - LOC - David Bijan Andree)
Second paneldiscussion 'Conservator Meets Institution' (Image: TH Koeln - CICS - LOC - David Bijan Andree)
Third paneldiscussion 'Conservator Meets The General Public' (Image: TH Koeln - CICS - LOC - David Bijan Andree)
Participants during the visit to the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum Cologne (Image: TH Koeln - CICS - LOC - David Bijan Andree)
IIC's Student & Emerging Conservator Conference biennial series, initiated in 2011, aims to offer a fertile ground for relevant discussions in regards to the challenges and developments in our field, but also offer an open platform for young professionals to network and connect internationally with fellow students, as well as more experienced professionals.
The conference from 12th to 14th of Septmber, had the same format as the last four IIC-SEC Conferences in London (2011), Copenhagen (2013), Warsaw (2015) and Bern (2017). Panel discussions, studio visits and social events offered invaluable networking opportunities. The format allowed the next generation of conservation professionals to gain valuable information and advice from our invited speakers.
Over 120 participants from 24 countries took part in the conference, including not only European countries but also Australia, the United States of America, Columbia, South Korea, China, Turkey and Canada. Additionally, over 200 people followed the livestream on YouTube and IIC’s Community Platform.
The conference's title “The Conservator’s Reflection” was meant to be ambiguous – How do we see ourselves as conservation professionals? Also, however, how are we seen by others, both by colleagues in institutions and by the general public? In three panel discussion, the role as a conservation professional, as well as the conservator’s position in institutions, the possible future developments of the profession as well as the student and emerging conservators’ possible paths in that field has been discussed. The increasingly important role of communication with and outreach to the general public has been discussed and some inspiring approaches have been presented.
The first session, named "Conservator Meets Conservator", dealt with various questions on the possible development of the profession and the path of students and recent graduates in our field. Prof. Dr. Erma Hermens (University of Amsterdam), Gwendolyn Boevé-Jones (Studio Redivivus, The Hague), Julian Bickersteth (President of IIC), and Thomas Gnaditz (Student, Fachhochschule Potsdam) shared their personal experiences in short keynote lectures and then discussed with the audience under the moderation of Gunnar Heydenreich (TH Köln).
The second session, "Conservator meets Institutions", dealt with the current positioning of the profession in institutions and museums, and how it can be improved. Iris Schaefer (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Cologne), Sarah Staniforth (IIC-President Emeritus), Joanna Phillips (Restaurierungszentrum Düsseldorf) and Vanessa Schmitt (Student, TH Köln) were invited as speakers under the moderation of Ester Ferreira (TH Köln).
The third panel discussion on the topic "Conservator meets the General Public" dealt with public relations work in restoration, how to improve the professions image in public eye and how to represent our profession. The speakers were Petria Noble (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Hilkka Hiiop (Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn), Ralph-Uwe Johann (Deffner & Johann, Röthlein) and Isa von Lenthe (Student, Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg), moderated by Amber Kerr (Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington).
In addition to the sessions, the participants were able to visit the workshops of the Cologne Institute for Conservation Sciences and enjoy guided tours at some of Cologne’s finest museums and historic sites.
The Local Organising Committee would like to thank the sponsors of the conference: Lempertz, TruVue, Werner Murrer Rahmen and Hasenkamp, as well as Halbe Rahmen, the Centre for Book Preservation, Klug-Conservation, Kremer Pigmente, the Störleim Manufaktur, aka Trockenreinigungs- & Restaurierungsbedarf and the donors Bernd von Bieler Versicherungsmakler und Beratung and the German Association of Conservator-Restorers (VDR).
Furthermore, we would like to thank the Dean's Office of Faculty 02, the Association of Friends and Sponsors of the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences and the CICS student council for their financial and advisory support. We are also grateful to the team of the TH Cologne's external funding coordination and the students who helped with the practical implementation of the conference.
We would also like to thank Graham Voce, Jo Kirby Atkinson, Mikkel Scharff, Sarah Stannage and Kate Smith from IIC for their advice and support in organising this conference.
The Local Organising Committee at CICS consisted of a team of twelve people:
Lead organisers: Mariana Escamilla, Charlotte Hoffmann.
Local Organising Committee: Hannah Pesch, Leonie Korte, Charlotte Stahmann, Nadine Schönhütte, Naja Staats, Juliane Lückel, Anika Bilinski and Malin Möhrke.
CICS Committee: Prof. Ester S. B. Ferreira and Prof. Gunnar Heydenreich.