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Thursday, May 16 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(The Evolving Role of the Conservator of Contemporary Art) Revisiting the Decision-Making Model for the Conservation of Contemporary Art

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In answer to new emerging contemporary art forms which present new conservation and presentation challenges to conservators and other museum professionals, the research initiative Revisiting the Decision-Making Model (RDMM) aims to reconsider the internationally renowned Decision-Making Model for the Conservation and Restoration of Modern and Contemporary Art (1999). Since its publication by the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Modern Art (SBMK) the model has served as a valuable tool when navigating through complex problems in the conservation of modern and contemporary art, when discussing and documenting decision-making processes, and when training young professionals. Nevertheless, within the last decades a number of research projects have revealed more complex needs in regards to an extension of the model. The aforementioned initiative (RDMM) includes a multi-disciplinary working group with professionals from the fields of conservation, cultural heritage preservation, art history, philosophy, and decision theory as well as the researchers from the training program New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art (NACCA). The goal of this multidisciplinary group is to re-evaluate the model within the context of recent research results and case studies. In two meetings, held in March and June 2018, a potential extension of the model was elaborated, considering four different aspects: 1) the description of the point of departure in the particular case at hand to acknowledge subjectivity in decision-making by defining the initial aim, individual circumstances and questions, as well as the stakeholders and their interests, 2) the consideration of complex biographies of works of art, 3) the dynamics in the process of deciding, and 4) the revision of the centerpiece of the model in order to also include decisions that remain pending when developing preventive conservation or presentation strategies, especially and when dealing with ephemeral or inherently evolving works of art. Furthermore, terms and terminology – highly pivotal to the decision-making process in contemporary art conservation – were discussed and revised. This paper aims to present the current state of the extended model which - provides an updated guidance for complex conservation and presentation decisions - raises an awareness for implicit aspects in decision-making, and - fosters explicitness in order to enhance the discourse to disentangle conservation decisions in a multidisciplinary context. The research initiative is organized by the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (CICS), the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE), and the Maastricht University. The initiative is generously funded by the Wüstenrot Stiftung.

avatar for Julia Giebeler

Julia Giebeler

conservator, research associate, Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences / University of Applied Sciences Cologne
Julia Giebeler is a conservator of historical, modern, and contemporary art. She graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Cologne/ Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (CICS) in 2009 with a diploma thesis on the preservation and reinstallation of the interactive video... Read More →

avatar for Andrea Sartorius

Andrea Sartorius

Conservator, Cologne Institute for Conservation Science CICS
Andrea Sartorius is a conservator of modern and contemporary art.Currently, she lives in Tokyo, Japan, from where she works as a research associate for the Cologne Institute of Conservation Science (CICS) as well as in private practice. From 2009 till 2016, Andrea Sartorius was the... Read More →
avatar for Gunnar Heydenreich

Gunnar Heydenreich

Professor, Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences
Dr. Gunnar Heydenreich is Professor for Conservation of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Cologne Institute of Conservation Sciences (CICS) / Technische Hochschule Köln. He studied paintings conservation at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden and he gained a Ph.D. from... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Salon A2-A3, Uncas Ballroom Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  General Session, The Evolving Role of the Conservator of Contemporary Art
  • Ticketed Included in Main Registration
  • Authors in Publication Order Julia Giebeler, Andrea Sartorius, Gunnar Heydenreich
  • Abstract ID 18807
  • Tags decision-making model,decision theory,multidisciplinary,contemporary art conservation,conservation strategy