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Subject: CAA-HP Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation

CAA-HP Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation

From: Diane Mossholder <dmossholder<-a>
Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Conservation scholarship award goes to the movies:

Paolo Cherchi Usai, a pioneer in film preservation who has devoted
his professional life to ensuring the survival of great works of art
on film, is the 2005 recipient of the Award for Distinction in
Scholarship and Conservation, given by Heritage Preservation and the
College Art Association.  This annual award recognizes outstanding
contributions to both the understanding and conservation of art.

An early champion of film preservation before there was much public
awareness of film's fragility or organized commitment to its
preservation, Cherchi Usai has worked tirelessly to ensure that many
of the greatest works of film survive, in the belief that these
artistic and historical documents must be seen to be part of our
visual and cultural memory. He has shown historical foresight in his
passion for silent films and their place in the emerging
construction of a film canon.

As Senior Curator of the Motion Picture Department of George Eastman
House (1989-2004), Cherchi Usai founded the L. Jeffrey Selznick
School of Film Preservation, the first institution of its kind in
the United States. Cherchi Usai's students now direct educational
archives all over the world in nonprofit and public institutions as
well as in film studios.  The film school joined the University of
Rochester in offering a master's degree program, the Selznick
Graduate Program in Film and Media Preservation,  the first such
collaboration between a museum and a university.

Paolo Cherchi Usai has made immense contributions to film
preservation and film studies, and his creative vision has inspired
new respect for the art of cinema by raising consciousness and
training a new generation of preservationists and film scholars, the
awards committee wrote.  He has identified cinema as the
representative art form of modern life and a precious component of
our artistic heritage, worthy of great preservation efforts.

Cherchi Usai is currently Director of the National Screen and Sound
Archive in Australia.  He is widely respected as an archivist,
educator, art historian, scholar, and preservationist.  His work has
had interdisciplinary influence, spanning the development of
scientific and technological solutions for archiving and preserving
film as well as the elevation of scholarly discourse by affirming
cinema as an art form that demands critical, theoretical, and formal

Le Giornati Cinema Muto, the world's foremost exhibition venue for
silent-era film held in Pordenone, Italy, was co-founded by Cherchi
Usai. Scholars, preservationists, and film lovers can experience
here, on the large screen with musical accompaniment, many rare
films loaned by museums and archives around the world.  Prior to its
founding, repositories only screened their silent films within their
own institutions and through occasional special loans, limiting a
wider audience for silent film.

Cherchi Usai's publications include The Griffith Project,
co-published by the British Film Institute and Le Giornate, now in
its eighth volume; The Death of Cinema: History, Cultural Memory,
and the Digital Dark Age (2001); and Burning Passions: An
Introduction to the Study of Silent Cinema (1994).

The College Art Association/Heritage Preservation Award for
Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation recognizes an
outstanding contribution by one or more persons who, individually or
jointly, have enhanced the understanding of art through the
application of knowledge and experience in conservation, art
history, and art. Recent recipients of the award have included Carol
Mancusi-Ungaro of  Harvard University (2004), Ernst van de Wetering
of the University of Amsterdam (2003), and Harry Cooper and Ron
Spronk, of the Fogg Museum (2002).

This year's selection committee members were Elizabeth Darrow,
independent scholar; Chair; Andrea Kirsh, independent curator and
scholar; Jay Krueger, National Gallery of Art; Lisa Schrenk, Norwich
University; and Rustin Levenson, Rustin Levenson Art Conservation

The College Art Association promotes excellence in scholarship and
teaching in the history and criticism of the visual arts and in
creativity and technical skill in the teaching and practices of art;
facilitates the exchange of ideas and information among those
interested in art and history of art; advocates comprehensive and
inclusive education in the visual arts; and honors accomplishments
of artists, art historians, and critics. CAA includes among its
members those who by vocation or avocation are concerned about
and/or committed to the practice of art, teaching, and research of
and about the visual arts and humanities. For more information,
visit <URL:>.

Heritage Preservation works to save the objects that embody our
history, partnering with conservators, museums, civic groups, and
concerned individuals across the nation who care about preserving
pieces of our shared and individual pasts. For over 30 years,
Heritage Preservation has been the national advocate for the proper
care of our nation's heritage. Its members include museums,
libraries, archives, historic preservation organizations, historical
societies, conservation organizations, individual professionals, and
other groups concerned with saving the past for the future. To learn
more, visit <URL:>.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:44
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 16, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-44-003
Received on Tuesday, 15 March, 2005

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