Volume 10, Number 1, Jan. 1988, p.32
I have always felt that it was something of a moral obligation for conservators to be active in national and international organizations. Most of us are members of IIC and AIC (in one category or other), but membership in ICOM is rather more sparse.
Over the years, the ICOM Committee on Conservation has functioned as both focus and vehicle for some of the most vexing problems in conservation. For example, the history of the change in attitudes towards the lining of paintings has been written and played out in the Triennial Meeting Preprints.
Membership in ICOM is predicated by membership in a National Committee, for us in the US, that's AAM. Membership in AAM, while never cheap, has now become prohibitive for anyone not employed by a non-profit organization. The new policy forces private conservators to join in the corporate affiliate category.
Conservators, both private and institutional, have an interest in issues that pertain to museums. How many private conservators work for smaller non-profit museums and galleries? We all benefit from IMS and NEA grant monies (or at least would like to). Conservation organizations and The AAM should have fraternal feelings towards one another, and conservation must include all conservators.
WAAC has written to the AAM in protest of this policy change. Hopefully AIC and BAACG will also speak up on this issue.Chris Stavroudis
The opinions expressed by Mr. Stavroudis are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of WAAC or its Board.