Last Friday, a small group of my students from the University of Michigan, Dearborn, got a chance to experience first hand the wonders of our conservation lab here at the DIA. Conservators Valerie Baas and Chris Foster were kind enough to show them the various departments with a stop in the paper lab to look at a few objects in need of some minor repairs.
To the public, the DIA’s conservation lab may be something of an unknown entity, but it is a crucial behind-the-scenes operation with a variety of specialists that help the museum maintain and preserve its collection of art. I have known senior paper conservator Valerie Baas for about 15 years now, and her expertise in photography has been invaluable over the years. She will be a panelist along with Denise Bethel from Sotheby’s and Boston-area conservator Paul Messier at the 2009 Winter Meeting of the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation to be held January 23-25, 2009 at the Center for Creative Photography in Tuscon, Arizona. For more information on the AIC and its photography website – http://aic.stanford.edu/sg/pmg/index.html.