As conservators working with self-taught art or artist-built environments, do we have an influence on the artist and, in turn, the art? Is this a positive or negative influence, or neither? Does the intervention of historians, conservators, the media, and the marketplace play too great a role in the artist’s creative process? Panelists discussed the various roles conservation plays in their experiences working with living artists.
Jason Church is a materials conservator in the Materials Conservation Program at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) in Natchitoches, LA. NCPTT is a research and training office of the National Park Service. Church divides his time between original research, field work on outdoor sculpture and architectural materials, and organizing various trainings and conferences. Before joining NCPTT, he was a conservator for the City of Savannah, GA, Department of Cemeteries. He earned his MFA in historic preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design and is a professional associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
Ronald S. Harvey received a BA in art from Monmouth College and an MFA in art (sculpture) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, followed by a formal apprenticeship in conservation at the Milwaukee Public Museum. He served one year as assistant conservator (faculty-officer status) at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, then returned as assistant and then senior conservator at the Milwaukee Public Museum. He relocated to Maine in 1990 and opened a private conservation practice. Tuckerbrook Conservation LLC serves the conservation needs for both private and public collections throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Ethiopia.
Dennis Montagna directs the National Park Service’s Monument Research & Preservation Program. Based at the Philadelphia region office, the program provides comprehensive assistance in the interpretation and care of historic cemeteries, outdoor sculpture, and public monuments. Dennis holds a BA from Florida State, a master’s in art history from the University of Wisconsin, and a doctorate from the University of Delaware.