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Subject: Seminar on collection surveys

Seminar on collection surveys

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2001
It is appropriate that a seminar is being held on this subject (See
Conservation DistList Instance: 15:32 Tuesday, October 16, 2001).
There is so much confusion about surveys and how they are conducted,
what they should produce and how they are to be used that it is
imperative that some precise discussions take place and be made

I just returned from looking at some art at an institution in
Southern California which I had been asked to provide estimates for
conservation.  I asked the Assistant Director if they had had a CAP
survey and was told yes, but it was never made available to me, no
matter how many times I asked to see it.  It was clear that the
building needed a lot of work, it had structural problems which were
affecting installed art and sculpture.  I asked if they had had an
architect participate in the CAP survey, and yes, but they were not
sure what was in it.

I have had problems with architects providing me with preliminary
report copies so I could coordinate my report with theirs, in fact,
in many cases I never see them, even if I do my survey at the same
time.  It seems to me that the AAM needs to provide workshops for
museum and other institutional directors and curators so they can
understand what surveys are supposed to do.  The Assistant Director
of the institution I just spoke of, did not know that CAP surveys
should be followed by Conservation Surveys by conservators, or that
the CAP surveys could be used to apply for grants. There needs to be
coordination of this information we as surveyors are producing
otherwise it is a useless act.  Since Korey Berrett published his
study of CAP surveys in 1994 a ton of surveys have been done; what
we need now is an analysis of how they are being used and how we can
improve their use as tools for institutions. I would love to hear
from other conservators, curators, etc. on this issue.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:34
                 Distributed: Monday, October 22, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-34-007
Received on Saturday, 20 October, 2001

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