Session 2 - Conservation and Restoration

In the universe of the conservation profession, one of the more traditional activities is interventive conservation. For the students who want to pursue this path, it is important to understand what is required of us when we work in a hands-on conservation environment. How different is the work in a museum from the work in a private studio, company, conservation centre or other applied environment? What are the daily tasks and how do they relate to other conservation environments? Depending on the institution and conservation area, conservators are required to have different skills, appointed tasks, and areas of authority that might differ from our own expectations of what a conservator does or should do. The distinctive features of this path, which attracts so many conservation students, will be discussed during the session.

Following the same panel structure of the first session, speakers will reflect on the subjective path each emerging conservator can follow when choosing a working area and environment. There will be room to consider personal motivations, skills, and external factors that one must take into consideration when choosing one’s career path. We will discuss how this path can be pursued, which institutions support this sort of career path, and which characteristics are indispensable in the pursuit of becoming a conservator in this environment. This panel will also cover topics related to job search and opportunities, appropriate work conditions and salary, most common and/or unexpected daily tasks; positioning within the institutional structure and the ways it can be improved; relationships with colleagues from the same and different conservation areas as well as other professionals and the relevance of professional associations and accreditation in the development of both the conservation community and the mechanisms for the legal defense of the conservator and of the cultural heritage. Finally, we will consider the specific challenges we face in the current social, political and economic climate. An unavoidable topic is the influence of Covid-19 in our normal, daily work lives.

Panel of this session:

Elis Marçal

Carmen Royo Fraguas

Mamta Mishra

Mónica Sanchez

Sandra Šustić Cvetković