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Subject: Conservation facilities and the public

Conservation facilities and the public

From: Beth J. Dodd <dodd.beth>
Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2001
One of my first brushes with conservation was on a visit to the
Steamship Arabia Museum in Kansas City, Mo.  A crazy (as in driven)
family decided that they wanted to dig up a sunken steamship and
ended up doing a fabulous job of creating a museum.

Part of their mission is the treatment of the cargo and the ship
itself. The conservation lab for the cargo is separated only by a
half wall, so the public can talk to the conservators and ask
questions.  It was very educational--the kids *really* locked into
the whole concept of conservation. It's good to get them early so
they understand the value of conservation later.  I got the feeling
that the conservators enjoyed the interaction too--I think some of
the questions they got from the kids made them view the objects in a
different way.  They understood that public education would be a
large percentage of their job.

My husband was in the museum profession at the time and dragged me
into this museum.  I came out with greater knowledge and curiosity
of conservation (among other things).  If you ever get the chance,
check this place out.

Related topic: after that experience, I started noticing separate
exhibits in museums regarding preservation/conservation topics.  One
that stands out was an exhibit at the Jocelyn Art Museum in Omaha
that showed their pieces throughout treatment.  It drew a large and
fascinated crowd.  It would be nice to see curators and conservators
get together and do this more often.

Beth Dodd
Alexander Architectural Archive
University of Texas at Austin

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:18
                  Distributed: Friday, August 17, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-18-003
Received on Wednesday, 15 August, 2001

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