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Friday, June 1 • 8:30am - 10:00am
(Collection Care) Materials Selection for Storage, Exhibit, & Transport: A Moderated Panel Discussion

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It is an acknowledged truth in the field of preventive conservation that materials selected for storage, exhibit, and transport of collections play a critical role in the long-term preservation of these same collections. The wrong materials—those selected without careful consideration or those selected based on flawed assumptions (e.g. one batch of material varies in composition from another)—can impact the overall stability of collections, promote damage to collection items, or result in material failure. Selecting an appropriate material can be fraught with challenges: What are the specific properties necessary for the task? How can these properties be evaluated to relate to material performance and overall task compatibility? How can communication with industry result in a supply of consistent material? Nevertheless, collection care professionals must regularly select materials for purpose amid these challenges, which can leave the professional feeling like their best efforts still rely on guesswork, qualitative evaluation, and inconsistent results. 
To begin unraveling this complex issue and begin developing solutions, a working group (Materials for Collection Care Working Group) consisting of the various stakeholders engaged in material development, testing, and selection is underway. This group is currently engaged in identifying the current challenges with materials selection and evaluation and more clearly defining the stakeholders and their roles. From there, the group will develop a resource for advancing the community’s ability to take a more educated role in material development, selection, evaluation, and use. 
A moderated panel focused on improving awareness of materials, their components, and the testing required for their use in collection care will consist of: 
1. A Standards professional representing an organization that develops community-tested standards, such as ASTM. This person will address how standards are developed, resources needed for their development, and community expectations: Michael Skalka, National Gallery of Art and ASTM Chairman of DOI.57 Artist Materials
2. A Conservation Scientist to present the complexities of material testing: Eric Breitung, The Metropolitan Museum of Art 
3. A Conservator experienced in developing specifications for products: Andrew Robb, Library of Congress 
4. A Supplier discussing the challenges of working with manufacturers and consistency of materials: John Dunphy, University Products 
5. An Exhibit Designer discussing the challenges of working with collection care professionals and materials suppliers and manufacturers to develop in-budget exhibitions with a collection care priority: Tomomi Itakura, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco 
Through presentations and moderated discussions, continuing steps for the working group will be identified and prioritized. Each panelist will be given 10 minutes to speak, followed by 30 minutes for guided discussion and questions. 

avatar for Pamela Hatchfield

Pamela Hatchfield

Conservator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Pamela Hatchfield is the Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Head of Objects Conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She received her Master’s degree in Art History and Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, with an advanced level... Read More →
avatar for Catharine Hawks

Catharine Hawks

Collections Program Conservator, Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of Natural History
Catharine Hawks is an objects conservator with a focus on natural history collections. Before becoming the museum conservator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), she was in private practice for 20 years, working with over 100 institutional clients in... Read More →

avatar for Eric Breitung

Eric Breitung

Research Scientist, Department of Scientific Research, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Eric Breitung, Research Scientist, specializes in modern preservation materials and museum environment issues in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Scientific Research. His work includes the development of advanced analytical test methods for assessing commercial materials... Read More →
avatar for University Products

University Products

Supplier/Service Provider, University Products
University Products is the leading supplier of archival storage solutions. The company offers a wide array of archival storage products as well as conservation tools and equipment. Yes, we plan on having a new corrugated animal kit as a gift for you for stopping by our booth. Don't... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Robb

Andrew Robb

Special Projects Officer, Library of Congress
avatar for Michael Skalka

Michael Skalka

Conservation Administrator, National Gallery of Art
B.A., Art History, Rutgers University M.F.A. in Museum Studies, Syracuse University Conservation Administrator at the National Gallery of Art. 1984 to present. Responsible for overseeing daily financial administrative operations of the conservation division. Serves as the coordinator... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 8:30am - 10:00am MDT
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston