This is an excerpt from an item posted in Conservation DistList Instance: 12:4, Thursday, June 18, 1998
As a private conservator, I have uncovered information in the course of treatment which a museum director told me to forget (I forgot but the slides are on file...); during the early years of my practice many clients tossed a detailed treatment report into the garbage can on their way out the lab; now they have to pay extra for the report. Institutional clients and dealers have been more likely to do this than private collectors. For some years now, my treatment proposal has included the following words:
"The above proposal is accepted and the Thompson Conservation Laboratory is hereby authorized to carry out the above proposed treatment, subject to all the following terms and conditions.
"Objects brought or forwarded to the Thompson Conservation Laboratory are at the sole risk of the depositor at all times.
"The depositor hereby waives and releases any and all claims which may hereafter arise for damage to or loss of or related to such objects, however occasioned, and whether or not due to the negligence or default of the Laboratory. In consideration of the furnishing of requested transcripts of records of examination and treatment, reports or opinions concerning objects, the depositor agrees to indemnify the Laboratory from any and all liability in the event of any claim by any other person based in any way upon the rendition of such records, reports or opinions, and further agrees that such transcripts, reports or opinions are intended to be used for scientific and educational purposes only.
"The written and photographic documentation of this (these) artifact(s) is the property of the Thompson Conservation Laboratory and may be used for educational, research, analytical and statistical purposes at the sole discretion of the Thompson Conservation Laboratory.
"If a summary report, at a cost of $25.00 is desired, please check here: [ ].
"A complete copy of all documentation will be provided for a further additional fee upon application by the owner or responsible party."
For what it's worth, I changed my treatment proposal form to include the language noted above in the late 1970's and NOT ONE SINGLE INSTITUTION OR DEALER HAS EVER ASKED FOR (or paid for...) A DETAILED TREATMENT REPORT! And damned few private clients.Jack C. Thompson