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Monday, May 16 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Textiles) Assessing Collection Emergency Training and Response: The Risks of Adrenaline

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The rains fall; the winds howl; the earth moves; bombs explode; pipes and mechanical systems fail and cultural collection stewards gather to address the heartbreaking results. Every scenario brings its own challenges and risks - are these highly motivated but stressed responders among them? How do we insure we mount an effective, safe, well planned response? Most disaster training programs begin with fairly extensive instruction in planning and preparation. They then briefly discuss assessment before moving forward to what many regard as the heart of the program, recovery and salvage. A hands-on drill of varying length, complexity and intensity often climaxes the program. After designing and implementing many of these programs and drills, the authors have reached the conclusion that the emphasis on response and salvage while minimizing the role of assessment, communication, team structure and function can derail an effective response and cause additional collection damage and dissociation. Establishing a team and communication methods comes first. Without this foundation, assessment and recovery that is successful for people and objects is rare. Assessment occurs before recovery begins and at regular intervals as the response continues. It identifies the nature and scope of the collection emergency and the resources, documentation and strategies necessary for each stage of an effective response. When these steps are truncated or ignored, even in a drill, chaos often ensues. Too many anxious and adrenaline soaked responders rush in to save the collection. They get in each other’s way, forget the need for documentation, and move objects without adequate regard for priority, condition, risk or appropriate destination. This presentation addresses the assessment options in a collection emergency plan and scenarios for team development, communication and assessment training. Each responder’s foundational knowledge, experience, collection familiarity and emotional response to a collection emergency vary. Training must be tailored to the participants, whether students, cultural heritage professionals, or volunteers.

Speakers
avatar for Dr. Joelle D. J. Wickens, [PA]

Dr. Joelle D. J. Wickens, [PA]

Conservator, Preventive Team Head and University of Delaware Affiliated Assistant Professor, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Joelle Wickens is the Conservator and Preventive Team Head at Winterthur Museum & Country Estate and a University of Delaware Affiliated Assistant Professor in Art Conservation for the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. She gained an MA (Distinction) in... Read More →
avatar for Jacinta A. Johnson

Jacinta A. Johnson

Assistant Paper Conservator, Balboa Art Conservation Center
Jacinta Johnson is Assistant Paper Conservator at the Balboa Art Conservation Center in San Diego. Jacinta earned her M.S. in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation in 2016 with a focus in paper conservation. Ms. Johnson’s training... Read More →
avatar for Lois Olcott Price

Lois Olcott Price

Adjunct Senior Conservator, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Lois Olcott Price is the retired Director of Conservation for the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. She graduated from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program (WUDPAC) where she majored in paper conservation and interned at the Library of Congress. She served... Read More →
avatar for Kari Rayner

Kari Rayner

Conservator, National Gallery of Art
Kari Rayner is a 2015 graduate of the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University with a specialization in paintings conservation. Kari completed her fourth year internship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  In addition to interning at... Read More →

Co-Author(s)
avatar for Anisha Gupta

Anisha Gupta

Assistant Conservator, American Philosophical Society
Anisha Gupta is the Assistant Conservator for Archival Materials at the American Philosophical Society. She is a graduate of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation where she specialized in works on paper with a minor concentration in photographic materials... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Walthew

Jessica Walthew

Conservator, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
Jessica Walthew is an objects conservator at Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. She holds an MA in Art History and Archaeology with advanced certificate in Conservation from NYU's Institute of Fine Arts, Conservation Center. Her research and teaching interests include history... Read More →


Monday May 16, 2016 11:00am - 11:30am EDT
Room 511 A/D