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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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