Volume 2, Number 1, Feb 1980, p.1

Letter from the President

by David Bull

Cancellation of the Portland Conference--October 11 and 12, 1979

The last conference of WAAC, which was to have been held in Portland, Oregon at the Portland Art Museum, was regrettably cancelled shortly after the final registration date by the decision of the officers.

By the time that the decision was made only 18 members had registered and it seemed quite clear that there was no point in holding a meeting with so few people taking part. It was a great disappointment to those who had registered and in particular to the officers who had already devoted so much time and energy into its arrangement. The majority of the work had fallen on the shoulders of Betty Engel, the then conservator at Portland, and we feel particularly sad on her account that her hard work was not realized.

Approximately two months before the intended date of the meeting a telephone poll was carried out to determine the likely interest in the meeting. The answers were extremely encouraging at this time and we felt that there would be a good attendance.

It now seems important to try to discover why there was such a poor response to registration, as there might well be some lessons to be learned for the future meeting. Certain obvious possibilities come to mind:

  1. The location of Portland would have meant considerable travel and expense for a large number of members.
  2. There had already been a meeting at Los Angeles County Museum of Art earlier in the year, as well as an AIC Conference in Toronto.
  3. Does it indicate a lessening of interest?

There are likely to be a number of other possible reasons. As the WAAC is planning to hold a meeting in San Diego in October of this year, there might be found some time during the meeting to discuss the failure of interest in the last meeting.

It is sincerely hoped that a large turnout for this next meeting will show that there is not a lessening of interest in the organization and the opportunities to meet together.

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