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Subject: A death

A death

From: Irene Peters <irene.peters<-at->
Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Barbara Lynn Hamann passed away peacefully with her family at her
side on November 29 after months of struggling with cancer.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Barbara started her museum career as a
student aide in the Reference Library of the Milwaukee Public Museum
(MPM), where she quickly progressed to the history section,
cataloging ethnographic, historic, and archaeological objects and
spending several summers as trench supervisor and registrar at Tell
Hadidi, Syria.  In 1978, she earned a BA with distinction in
Classics from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. After two
years in the PhD program for Classical Philology at the University
of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Barbara decided to shift her academic
focus to practical applications rather than purely theoretical
studies. She participated in archaeological excavations at various
sites in the Middle East and Greece.  In Wisconsin, she worked as
part of the Archaeological Survey Team in the Chequamegon National
Forest, and returned to the History Section of the MPM as a
scientific assistant.  Concurrently she pursued a Masters degree in
Classical Art and Archeology at the University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor which she was awarded in 1985.

Barbara found her true vocation during an internship in the
conservation laboratory at the MPM in 1986 and spent the following
years doing internships on Kommos, Crete, at the Field Museum of
Natural History in Chicago, and The British Museum in London. In
1989 she graduated with honors from the Conservation Program at the
Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

She spent the next 9 years in Chicago at two of the city's premier
museums. From October 1989 to September 1990 Barbara completed a
Getty Trust Post-Graduate Internship at the objects conservation
laboratory of the Art Institute of Chicago, surveying a collection
of modern architectural fragments and participating in new
installations. She then moved to the Oriental Institute (OI) at the
University of Chicago where her work included countless treatments
and contributions to the museum's expansion project, including
in-situ treatment and protection of built-in sculpture as well as
de-installation and conservation of monumental Assyrian reliefs.

When Barbara left to broaden her conservation experience at the
Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne 1998, her absence from the OI was
keenly felt. In her new position as museum and historic sites
conservator, Barbara managed the museum's conservation laboratory,
established conservation policies and procedures and provided
state-of-the-art conservation and preventive care for Wyoming's
history, ethnography, and art collections.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) hired Barbara in
September 2000 to expand its conservation focus from anthropology
collections to museum wide activities.  Through her skill,
dedication, and humor, she was able to bring together disparate
parts of the institution and lay the groundwork for ongoing
environmental improvements. She established a network of collections
care and preventive conservation measures and successfully sought
funding to implement significant upgrades to all collections storage
areas.  Committed deeply to conservation research, Barbara was able
to investigate the sources of pesticide residues found on objects at
CMNH.  As a result she discovered that most arsenic on CMNH Hopi
objects could be directly traced to a commercially produced paint
used by the native artisans.  At CMNH, she also co-led the
self-study process for the museum's accreditation by the American
Association of Museums, and was instrumental in the development of a
museum-wide emergency preparedness plan.

>From 2002-2006, Barbara was Co-Chair of the Conservation Committee
of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections
(SPNHC).  Devoting much of her life to her passion for Conservation,
Barbara served as Field Reviewer for various Preservation and
Conservation Grant Programs, mainly with the Institute of Museum and
Library Sciences (IMLS).

In 2007, when former CMNH director Bill DeWalt was appointed
director of the newly established Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in
Phoenix, Arizona, he sought Barbara's expertise to help build and
lead the team of conservators that would be crucial in opening and
operating the new museum.  Barbara established MIM's conservation
department and ensured that all goals for conservation were met
prior to opening in April 2010.  She remained faithful to her
responsibilities at MIM for as long as possible before succumbing to
her illness.

Barbara is remembered by all her friends and colleagues for her
quiet strength, her kindness, her steadfast dedication and
determination to perform at the highest level, and for her quirky
and utterly unexpected dry sense of humor. She is survived by her
brother Frederick Hamann and her sister Patricia Bauer. In
accordance with their wishes, a memorial fund has been established
at MIM to honor her lifetime commitment. Donations in Barbara's
memory may be sent to:

    The Barbara Hamann Conservation Research Fund
    c/o the Development Office
    Musical Instrument Museum
    4725 Mayo Boulevard
    Phoenix, AZ 85050

Irene Peters, Musical Instrument Museum
with contributions from Gretchen Anderson, Laura d'Allesandro, Jude
Southward as well as other colleagues and friends.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 24:29
                Distributed: Tuesday, December 14, 2010
                       Message Id: cdl-24-29-001
Received on Tuesday, 14 December, 2010

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