Conservator vs Conservationist

It’s a pet peeve of many friends of mine (and, by extension, one of mine as well).  Did you know that conservators and conservationists are not one and the same?  That even though they both conserve something, conservators and conservationists have very different jobs?

A conservator is a person who works to keep works of art safe, ensuring that precious artefacts and paintings are in stable condition in a museum or repairing those that have suffered some kind of damage.

A conservationist is a person who advocates for the protection  and acts for the preservation the environment and wildlife on our wonderful planet.

 

These two words are constantly confused, most often by the media, and for a museum professional (even if you’re not a conservator), it is frustrating when people don’t use the correct word. Now that you know the difference, dear readers, spread the word!

This post is dedicated to all my conservator friends.  I’ve got your back, guys!

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An Open Letter to Ancient People

Found this post very amusing. It’s  An Open Letter to Ancient People from Conservator Suzanne Davis at the Kelsey. Love it! There are many times when archaeologists, conservators and other scholars would like to speak to ancient people…

SUZANNE DAVIS, Curator of Conservation Dear Ancient People, I am writing this letter in response to my recent work on your textiles for the upcoming Kelsey Museum exhibit Less Than Perfect. I am writing this letter because I love you. I do. Please believe that. Your textiles are lovely. Super beautiful. But they are […]

via An Open Letter to Ancient People — Kelsey Museum

Death Dogs and a bunch of cool people

Last week, I travelled to Michigan to visit the Egyptian and Classical collections at the Detroit Institute of Art (Dr. Nii Quarcoopome kindly toured me around their lovely Egyptian galleries) and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

A glance at the exhibition on jackal gods in ancient Egypt (now closed).

A glance at the exhibition on jackal gods in ancient Egypt (now closed).

You might recall a post I reblogged a while back about the exhibition Death Dogs: Jackal Gods of Ancient Egypt. Well, I went to see the exhibition mentioned in that post. It was very lovely and it had super cool banners! Death Dogs is a small permanent collection exhibition with a focus on canine deities in ancient Egypt (beloved by children and Egyptologists all over the world). I’m all for that sort of thematic exhibition. I like to explore new ways to present material with which people may already be familiar… the objects feel new when you display them differently, following a theme. It was nice little show curated by Egyptologist Terry Wilfong.

However, I had another reason to go to Ann Arbor. I have been hearing great things about the university, reading fabulous excavation reports by Egyptologist Janet Richards and the conservators working on site with her at Abydos, and, while attending the Nubian conference in Switzerland back in September, I had met Geoff Emberling, who works there as well. So from Detroit, I drove to Ann Arbor and met with Janet, Suzanne Carrie and Madeleine. Everybody was so nice and I had great time touring with Janet in the galleries as well as in storage, and spending time in the lab with the conservators after lunch.

It was a great trip and it gave me great ideas for future Weinberg lectures!