Volume 13, Number 1, Jan. 1991, pp.1-2

President's Letter

by Glenn Wharton

I think everyone who attended our recent conference on Catalina Island would agree that it was another great success. Our outgoing president, Mark Watters, deserves one more round of applause for the months of planning and devotion to detail in preparation for the meeting. He was even spotted carrying projectors and black-out curtains by car, ship and van to insure high quality slide projection. Last year's board members are also to be thanked for arranging details and soliciting papers for the meeting: Nancy Odegaard, Janice Schopfer and Patricia Tuttle-Leavengood.

The nominating committee (Glenn Wharton, Patricia Tuttle-Leavengood, Nancy Odegaard and Leslie Bone) announced the new board of directors at the annual business meeting: Vice President: Tatyana M. Thompson; Members at Large: Elisabeth Cornu, Eric Hansen and Chris Stavroudis. Carol Verheyen has accepted the position of Secretary/Treasurer, and Chris Stavroudis will serve as Membership Secretary for the 1990-91 year. We are all grateful to Joanne Page and Paula Volent who held these positions last year.

WAAC President 1990-1991 WAAC Vice President 1990-1991
 [Glenn Wharton]  [Tatanya Thompson]

The Friends of Mexico again sponsored the attendance of a conservator from Mexico. Lilia Rivera Weber, a private conservator in Mexico City, presented a paper entitled, "Mexican Altarpieces and the Importance of Their Conservation," abstracted on page 6 of this issue of the newsletter. One of the most provocative discussions at the meeting was a panel presentation on oversized works of art on paper, organized by Paula Volent. Other highlights of the visit to Catalina included an evening trip on glass-bottom boats and an informal dinner around a fire at the Airport-in-the-Sky, on a mountaintop in the center of the island.

A few moments were taken at the conference to mark the passing of Ben Johnson. Ben is remembered as the most important figure in organizing the Western Association for Art Conservation, as well as for establishing the Conservation Center at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A remembrance of Ben, written by Jim Greaves, appears on page 10 of this issue.

In reflecting on Ben's hard work to establish WAAC and on the early goals of the organization, perhaps we should all take a moment to assess the state of our organization after its sixteen years of existence. I spoke with a number of WAAC members at the conference, and there seems to be a consensus that we have attained a rare combination of informality and high-level presentations at our meetings. The membership also praised the format and content of the newsletter in our recent survey. Perhaps our goal need no longer be to build a strong organization, but to strive to maintain the success we have achieved.

Most of the members attending the annual business meeting strongly favored holding conferences in retreat-like environments. Based on the positive response to Seattle as a conference site, we are currently investigating a number of retreat centers on the Olympic Peninsula near Seattle. It appears from our initial research that it rains constantly from October through December in the Seattle area. Because of this unfortunate meteorological news, we are considering holding the 1991 conference in early October or late September. More information will be provided in the next edition of the newsletter as plans develop . . . stay tuned!

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