Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
- Treatment is performed in different “places” responding to different needs:
* Private Practice (for museums, private owners, galleries, auction houses)
* Art Museums
* Regional Centers
* Historical Societies
- Treatments performed are different
- Treatment(s) goals/specific objectives are different
- Allowable/suitable/appropriate treatment and treatment extents are different
- Treatment is not performed on all photographs
- A greater recognition/understanding of the values of a photograph and its subtleties, has lead to less intervention
- Treatment is driven by other activities and social phenomena such as:
*Fashion/Perception of how a photograph should look
- Treatment decision-making is performed by a group of people
From the meeting (with Grant), we concluded I should define hypothetical cases of conservation treatments to present to the interviewees and ask for their opinion. I will further develop this idea.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I think I still can not explain it in simple ordered ideas. Somehow, the fact that I want to focus in understanding and describing the current treatment practice got lost in the conversation and I couldn't bring it back.
When he read my proposal he centered his attention in the evolution of treatment criteria. He suggested me to narrow the topic into one concrete theme, like that one. He shortly referred to his project (Oral History of Photograph Conservation) and his experience. He said that now he knows he would have done things differently, but didn't say how.
When he read the topics for the question he said "philosophy" is an abstract big word, that nobody understands. When he read my questions (posted Oct.26) he said they were too theoretical and felt like an exam. He suggested me to use concrete examples as ground for discussion.
He gave me some suggestions of bibliography to look for (some of which I have already consulted, but I will review again).
He was very nice and said I can contact him again. That we can talk by skype. I think the feedback was useful and new.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
My name is Alejandra Mendoza and I am with (name of the interviewee), to have a conversation about the Current Status of Treatment Practices in Photograph Conservation.
I would like to follow a pattern for the interview that includes questions about the philosophy and ethics of conservation treatment, following a discussion about the current status of treatment practice, treatment evaluation and education, continuing with aspects about the progress and transformation... [order to be defined]
To start, could you please tell me your name, your current job position, the institution or company that you work for, and for how long have you being working here?
I would like to begin with..
Philosophy and ethics
1. How do you define conservation treatment of photographs?
2. In a general sense, what is the goal of treatment?
3. What are the general principles that guide treatment practice?
4. Do you consider that these general principles are applicable to all types of treatment?
5. What determines the need for treatment? (in a museum, a private lab, an archive)
6. Are there other factors that influence in the selection of treatments that are proposed/requested and then performed?
7. How does the value of a photograph affect treatment?
8. How does market affect treatment?
--How do you assess the treatment risk against its potential benefit?
Progress and Transformation (History)
9. What is your observation of the field in terms of treatment? How has it progressed or transformed?
--What is your opinion about "chemical treatments" of photographs? Can they be performed, or why shouldn't they be performed?
10. How did you learn treatment?
11. Do you consider that treatment proficiency is central to the competences of a photograph conservator? Why?
12. How can we gain/assure treatment proficiency?
13. In terms of treatment, what are the major challenges that the field faces?
Statement of Purpose
This research will create a basic reference resource (interviews-based) that describes and addresses the current status of treatment within the profession, its philosophies, history; and the criteria and methodologies used for its evaluation. The objective of this resource is to gather and make accessible the knowledge and experience of a group of key individuals in the field, answering fundamental questions that relate to our work.
Treatment is one of the activities that characterize and differentiate a photograph conservator from other closely related specialists. The possibilities for treating photographic materials depend on a series of complex case-based variables (not only considering the materiality of the object but its present and future context and use) and international accepted standards of practice. Therefore it is important to understand, document and communicate the way in which treatment is approached, conducted and evaluated, both within institutions and in private practice. As it is important to explain the factors that have influenced in the history and development of treatment practices and try to identify the future challenges for the field in the subject.
The general history of the field of photograph conservation has been synthesized in some articles and orally compiled by a series of interviews conducted by Pau Maynés in 2001. However, the emphasis of these previous researches was not treatment practices, its status or history.
I) Interviews with conservators, curators, collectors and conservation scientists will be conducted and video recorded, to describe the following:
Philosophies Guiding Treatment:
- What is conservation treatment of photographs?
-Persons that request treatment
-Criteria for treatment
- Standards of practice and code of ethics
-Needs and expectations of people requesting the treatments
-Treatments performed and frequencies
-Factors that determine treatment success or failure
-Treatment solutions and possibilities in response to the existing needs
-Ways in which treatment results are being observed, considered, documented and measured
-Reasons and importance of treatment evaluation
-Viability of treatment evaluation
-Treatments that were practiced in the past and are no longer practiced
-New treatments practiced
-History and origin of treatment practices
-Reasons for these changes in practice
-Ways and requisites to achieve these needs
The interviews will be recorded, and a complete transcript and abstract produced.
II) A survey –addressing current practice and evaluation- will be designed and sent to photograph conservators.
III) The treatment records from the GEH will be reviewed to identify changes in:
- Treatments performed,
- Treatment evaluation methodologies used or presented.
-Illustrated essay contextualizing the current status of treatment within the field;
-Set of digitally recorded interviews and transcripts.
-To increase the accessibility of the resource, the creation of a web-based application containing sections of the videos and transcripts will be assessed. This could work linked to the GEHwiki (user:password requested).
-A set of interviews and transcripts will be delivered to the principal schools of Photograph Conservation.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
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