By Camille Myers Breeze
On May 8th, 2012, Camille headed off to Albuquerque, NM, for the 40th Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation. Located along the historic Route 66, Albuquerque was the site of reunions with old friends and gathering of new knowledge.
The first thing Camille did upon arrival was hang the poster that she and Kate Smith co-authored, entitled "Crossing the Boundaries Between Conservation Disciplines in the Treatment of Asian Thangkas." This poster was a summary of our 2.5-year thangka project for the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College and our first opportunity to present our work to our other conservators. Judging by the verbal feedback and how quickly our handouts disappeared, our poster was very well received!
If you would like to read this poster, it is available in jpeg form in the Resources section of the MTS website at http://www.museumtextiles.com/uploads/7/8/9/0/7890082/poster.jpg
Visitors to our poster were able to view a short video about the thangka conservation project by scanning the QR code on our handout. This handout is also available on the MTS website at http://www.weebly.com/uploads/7/8/9/0/7890082/thangka_recipe_handout_with_qr.pdf
Camille volunteered to live blog four sessions of the AIC Textile Specialty Group talks for the AIC Blog (www.conservators-converse.org/). Shortcuts to her posts can be found here:
“Recovery and Conservation of the Textile Collections at the National Museum of Music” (Cuba) by Alina Vazquez de Arazoza
“Repair of 20th-Century Leavers Lace” by Annie-Beth Ellington
“The Creation, Implementation and Safety of Digitally Printed Fabrics in Textile Conservation—Where Are We in 2012?” by Miriam Murphy
“A Successful Treatment Method for Reducing Dye Bleed on a 19th-Century Sampler” by Katherine Sahmel and Laura Mina
The biggest surprise of the conference came when Camille was invited to substitute for colleague Chris Stavroudis in the first ever Great Debate! Organized by Richard McCoy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Great Debate pitted teams of three conservators against each other to argue a topic relating to art conservation. Camille's teammates were Vanessa Muros, Staff Research Associate at the UCLA/Getty Conservation Program (and former student of Camille's in Peru,) and Kristin Adsit, IFA-NYU fourth-year intern from Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The best part about the Great Debate was giving conservators a chance to break out of our shells by acting loud and silly in front of our peers. Oh, and Camille's team won our debate! The debates were video taped and will appear soon on YouTube.