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Subject: Professional qualifications

Professional qualifications

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Friday, February 5, 1999
This is in response to some comments by Miriam Tierney and many of
the off-list email comments I received over the past few days.  The
question of training and standards has had a long history in
conservation as evinced by the notes in the Museums Journal of
England in the 1930s, especially after the review produced by R.B.
Dent in 1931 on the London "Short Training Course" of that year. How
standards and recognition will affect the field has always been an
important consideration with special concern on how it would affect
individual practice and who would establish standards and how they
could be enforced.  In Baer and Majewski's review of the history of
teaching conservation in the USA (1975) they describe several
programs in existence then,  with special reference to the Fogg
which is described as a general apprenticeship program and they
called for minimum professional standards and licensing of
conservators.  In another talk from the 1975 Venice ICOM Conference
Hodges and Hodkinson analyze the training programs and
apprenticeships by comparing their different approaches.  They call
for international cooperation to establish accreditation procedures
for the different programs and apprenticeship graduates.

It is unfortunate that the pre-WWII generation began this project of
training over 60 years ago, which was carried forward by the
post-WWII generation with the creation of a number of formal
training programs, but allowed to fallow by the generation of the
70s and 80s.  I still think that Hodges and Hodkinson's elegant
article is a fine jumping off point to construct a mechanism to
establish a consistent form of equivalence for conservators from the
programs and apprenticeships.  We just need the will to proceed.
Such a process would have to be skills based and not just (as in the
process for lawyers in the US today) an examination.  This issue
would profit from a formal dialogue.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:65
                 Distributed: Tuesday, February 9, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-65-002
Received on Friday, 5 February, 1999

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