Once again the Costume Society of America is sponsoring an Angels Project on the day before its Annual Conference and this year the project will be held on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, Ohio. This small museum was founded in 1952, is located in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the Ukrainian culture and Immigrant experience. The museum’s collection includes literature, recordings, photography, and artifacts in addition to approximately 200 to 300 un-housed and un-catalogued textile objects.
The Ukrainian Museum-Archives staff are in need not only of archival supplies, but hands on direction from Angel volunteers who donate their time, skills, and expertise to museums in need. In May, the Angel Product participants will be vacuuming, photographing, labeling, documenting, and re-housing the costume and textile collection at the museum.
University Products had a chance to meet new people and catch up with old friends at the Washington Conservation Guild Three Ring Circus earlier this month. On Thursday evening, January 7, conservators from throughout the D.C. area came together at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution, 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW in Washington D. C.. The meeting is typically the largest of the year with over 100 attendees. Following a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 with vendors that included University Products, conservators had their choice of attending three different sessions. This year, the topics included conservators in social media, imaging and technology and BIG conservation. Representing University Products was John Dunphy, who showcased new magnifying and lighting products.
University Products will be exhibiting their products at Material in Motion, the 10th Biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) on November 19th and 20th, 2015 from 9 am – 4 pm. It will be held in the kinetic city of New York. The Fashion Institute of Technology will be the site of two days of presentations and posters that will promote new technology and a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing textile conservators. The conference theme will be further explored through tours and training workshops. Tours include: the newly renovated Costume Institute, the Department of Textile Conservation and the Antonio Ratti Textile Center at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; transdisciplinary artist Laura Anderson Barbata’s studio in Brooklyn; Penn and Fletcher, a custom embroidery workshop in Queens; and l’aviva home, a design studio in Soho.
Experts in the field are leading the workshops:
•“Aqueous Cleaning Methods” with Dr. Richard Wolbers, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Science, Art Conservation Program, University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum;
•“Basic Patternmaking for Costume Exhibition Dressing” with Tae Smith, free-lance textile conservator, professor at Parsons The New School for Design, New York, NY;
•“Advanced Fiber Identification” with Dr. Denyse Montegut, Professor and Chairperson of the graduate program in Fashion and Textile Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY;
•“Documentation Color Management Strategies” with Scott Geffert, Senior Imaging Systems Manager, Metropolitan Museum of Art Photograph Studio; and •“Making Mannequins with Fosshape” with Shelly Uhlir, Exhibits Specialist, Mountmaker in the Conservation Department at the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
The NATCC was founded in 1994 as an international forum to share research, theory and practice in the field of textile conservation, and foster collaboration. Though the organization was conceived as a North American venture, it has attracted more global participants with each successive conference and is now an internationally recognized and respected forum for textile conservation. We received 90 abstracts from 25 countries for the 21 spots in this year’s program. We anticipate the largest number of participants to the conference will be from the United States, Mexico, Latin America and Europe.
All who attend bring what they learn from the conference back to their work at home. They find new methods to explore and/or discover suppliers with just the tool or material they need.
Focus on Book Arts has announced its biennial conference to be held June 24 – 28, 2015 at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. This event is a gathering of beginner through experienced fine art bookmakers and creative individuals from other disciplines interested in the book arts. The conference offers five days of workshops, several evening lectures, a trade show, an artists’ shop, and an accompanying faculty and staff exhibit.
The 12th biennial Focus On Book Arts Conference offers workshops that appeal to beginning as well as advanced book artists. Each class description outlines the skill level criteria, so you are able to easily determine which class suits you best. You can go for just one workshop or for the entire conference; a range of class lengths lets you tailor an experience just for you. They have new offerings and popular repeats in both the faculty and workshops. You will find detailed information at www.focusonbookarts.org as well as information on housing and other conference activities. Many other events are held in conjunction with the conference, and you will want to check out The Artists’ Shop, the Trade Show, The Faculty/Staff Exhibit and more.
This year, there will be two presentations by well known book artists: Shu-Ju Wang is the Keynote speaker, and Hedi Kyle is meeting with the group for an informal address. They will be sharing their experiences, their work, and their wisdom; conference participants can attend both!
The 2015 conference also introduces a restructuring of the traditional scholarship offering to a work-study program that allows direct involvement in the conference experience to the recipients of funding. The group has named it the Colleen Cavin Fund in honor of a great artist and friend who was such an integral part of the book arts community and this conference.
Just returned from the American Association of Museums annual meeting where University Products exhibited at Museum Expo. I enjoyed meeting old and new friends and discussing some of the many new products we will be launching in the coming months.
Among the many fun moments was Mark Hall-Patton stopping at the booth. Mark works for the Clark County Museum System in Las Vegas, NV and is an expert in historical artifacts. However, he may be better known for his frequent appearances on one of the History Channel’s most popular shows: Pawn Stars.
Pawn Stars takes you inside the colorful world of the pawn business. At the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas, three generations of the Harrison family–grandfather Richard, son Rick and grandson Corey – jointly run the family business, and there’s clashing and camaraderie every step of the way. The three men use their sharp eyes and skills to assess the value of items from the commonplace to the truly historic, including a 16th-century samurai sword, a Super Bowl ring, a Picasso painting and a 17th-century stay of execution. It’s up to them to determine what’s real and what’s fake, as they reveal the often surprising answer to the questions on everyone’s mind, “What’s the story behind it? ” and “What’s it worth?”
Mark chatted with me about his participation in the show. He explained that neither he nor any of the experts are paid, but that the popularity of the show has greatly increased attendance at the Clark County Museum System, and the pawn shop had been very generous with the museums’ fund raising efforts. Mark is a customer of University Products and was kind enough to pose for a picture…
The American Institute for Conservation also held its annual meeting in May. University Products had a 20’ booth at the Albuquerque, NM convention center. I was joined in the booth by Carlos Mijares from Editorial Marco Polo, the major supplier of archival and conservation materials in Mexico and one of our favorite distributors of our products there. University Products also offers many of Editorial Marco Polo’s products here in the U.S. Among them are a variety of new suction tables which were on display at the booth, along with several new conservation weights.
In addition, we showed some of our new generation of products which include Fosshape and Wonderflex. These two new materials are used in mount making and creating light weight mannequin forms. You will be hearing more about these materials and many others as we move forward.
As I mentioned in our last blog, we will be participating in the Society of Southwest Archivists annual meeting being held in Phoenix, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries & Museums being held in Tulsa. We will also be a platinum sponsor of the SPNHC (Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections) annual meeting at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Regrettably, because of some health issues, I will not be able to attend these meetings as planned. We will, however, have products and catalogs on display and generous people in these organizations will set up and maintain our booth space. I hope to be back on my feet by early July in time to participate in the NAGARA (National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators) show in Santa Fe, and the Society of American Archivists meeting in San Diego in August.
While in Washington, John also visited the Lunder Conservation Center. Paper Conservator Kate Maynor was kind enough to show him around. Like other visitors here, John had the unique opportunity to see conservators at work in five different laboratories and studios. The Center features floor-to-ceiling glass walls that allow the public to view all aspects of conservation work— work that is traditionally done behind the scenes at other museums and conservation centers. Interactive kiosks and special displays make it easy for visitors to learn about the importance of conservation and show how to take an active role in caring for public art and monuments, as well as how to care for personal treasures at home.
It was good to see all our neighboring museum professionals at the recent 93rd New England Museum Association annual meeting and conference held in Hartford. Our Ethafoam® cutting and shaping tools drew a great deal of interest from attendees, and they will be pleased to find out that we will soon be adding videos to our website that show these tools in use. Another favorite were the miniature bulk storage boxes we were handing out. They were created on our new custom box machine and were a very popular giveaway.
It was also a pleasure to meet Howayda Affan, the assistant curator at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, MA. Ms. Affan was kind enough to stop by our booth to thank University Products for sponsoring a scholarship so that she could attend the conference. She was among the over 800 museum professionals who attended the dozens of panels, workshops, and off-site events.
This is my 20th year exhibiting at the NEMA conference for University Products. It is my final show of the calendar year and always one of my favorites. I’m already looking forward to exhibiting at the NEMA conference next year in Burlington, VT.
The New England Museum Association will be holding its annual meeting in Hartford, CT this November. The Curators Professional Affinity Group, with support from University Products, provides a $300 stipend for individual members of NEMA and employees of NEMA institutional members to be used for a three-day conference registration. Any curator who has worked in the field five years or less, and works for an institution with an annual budget of $250,000 or less, is eligible for the award. This year the recipient of the award is Howayda Abu Affan, who graduated two years ago from the Harvard Extension School’s Masters Program in Museum Studies and is now Assistant Curator-Registrar of the Armenian Library and Museum of America located in Watertown, MA.
Chicago proved to be a great venue for the 75th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists (Archives 360). With its array of informative sessions, creative and colorful poster presentations, and a lively exhibit hall, it was hard to expect much more from Archives 360, but more there was. Attendees with time management skills could take advantage of the beautiful late summer weather the City of Big Shoulders provided with plenty to see and do.
Those who attended the reception at the Field Museum of Natural History were able to get a close-up look at Sue, the largest, most complete, best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. In May 2000, the unveiling of her 67 million year old skeleton at the Field made global headlines. Since then, more than 16 million visitors have marveled over Chicago’s prehistoric giant. Archivists were treated to a wonderful dinner buffet while wandering the great hall and many exhibits.
Did anyone else take advantage of the wonderful Chicago Architectural Cruise down the Chicago River? Not only did we enjoy a one hour tour showcasing over 40 landmarks of modern American architecture, but we got to see the beautiful lighted skyline from Lake Michigan. The only regret was not going a day earlier when we could have been treated to fireworks! Hurricane Irene was busy battering the east coast while we basked in the warm Chicago sun. A good portion of attendees had flights changed or delayed when trying to get home. The lucky ones were stuck in Chicago for an extra day or two.