The Forums

Stewardship of America’s Legacy: Answering the Call to Action
June 16 and 17, 2009
Buffalo, New York


The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) held a forum, entitled "Stewardship of America’s Legacy: Answering the Call to Action," on June 16 and 17 in Buffalo, New York. The forum brought together front-line leaders in the movement to save America’s collections for future generations. At its conclusion, participants had concrete information and fresh inspiration for keeping the health of collections, in their own institutions and in their communities, central at a time of reduced resources.

IMLS hosted this forum in cooperation with Heritage Preservation, the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and the Art Conservation Department of Buffalo State College, State University of New York. "Stewardship of America’s Legacy: Answering the Call to Action" was the fourth in the series of IMLS forums in the Connecting to Collections National Tour. The forum took place at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with a reception and Connections Lab at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Participation in the forum was free of charge.

"Stewardship of America’s Legacy: Answering the Call to Action," explored how committed individuals, ranging from small town librarians to directors of national conservation training programs, can work together to improve collections care and to inspire and inform others, both nationally and in their communities. Speakers addressed ways to make the case for collections funding, cutting-edge topics in collections care, using networks to tap into expertise, and engaging the public in sustaining the nation’s collections.

The keynote speaker was Maxwell L. Anderson, who as The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the Indianapolis Museum of Art has successfully made collections care central to the museum’s mission, operations, and outreach.

Participants in this forum:

  • Attended plenary sessions of panels with speakers who have successfully addressed issues of significance for smaller institutions.
  • Participated in a complimentary lunchtime "Connections Lab" with opportunities to engage speakers, representatives of funding agencies, and other resource representatives.
  • Took home a specially prepared resources packet.
  • Learned about IMLS funding programs by meeting with IMLS staff and representatives of institutions that have received IMLS grants.
  • Received complimentary admission to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
  • Had the opportunity to tour the conservation labs at the Art Conservation Department of Buffalo State College.

Program

Tuesday, June 16

10:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

By Reservation Only:

10:15 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.
45 Minute Docent-Guided tours of Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the current exhibition
Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Open House at the Art Conservation Department at Buffalo State College

12:00 p.m. – Boxed lunch

1:00 p.m. – Opening Remarks, Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Anne-Imelda Radice, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC
Benjamin C. Christy, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Buffalo State College, State University of New York

1:30 p.m. – Panel I: Help! I Don’t Have Enough Money: Building Support for Collections Care
Making the Case for Conservation. Debra Hess Norris, Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education & Chairperson, Art Conservation Department, University of Delaware
Focus on Foundations.
– Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President/CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and
– Catherine Schweitzer, Executive Director, the Baird Foundation
Case Study in Collections Care Fundraising. Richard D'Abate, Executive Director of Maine Historical Society

3:45 p.m. – Panel II: Help! I Feel Isolated From New Ideas: Tapping into Current Trends
Going Green, For Not A Lot of Green. Patricia Silence, Conservator of Exhibits, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Digitizing Without Illusions. Jacob Nadal, Preservation Officer, University of California Los Angeles Library
Harnessing the New Wave of Volunteerism. Sherelyn Ogden, Head of Conservation, Minnesota Historical Society
Collections Care Volunteers Case Study. Kate Bennett, President, Rochester Museum and Science Center

6:00 p.m. – Keynote Evening
Remarks - Ted Pietrzak, Director, Burchfield Penny Art Center
Introduction - Anne-Imelda Radice, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Keynote Address - "Prioritizing Conservation in Our Disposable Culture" Maxwell L. Anderson, The Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO, Indianapolis Museum of Art

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. – Reception at Burchfield Penney Art Center

Wednesday, June 17

7:30 a.m. – Buffet Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Remarks
Anne-Imelda Radice, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services
Louis Grachos, Director, Albright-Knox Art Gallery

8:45 a.m. – Panel III: Help! I’ve Done All the Basics and Don’t Know What to Do Next: Expanding Your Network
Who Can Help? Elizabeth Peña, Director and Professor, Art Conservation Department, Buffalo State College
Finding and Developing Networks. Scott Carrlee, Curator of Museum Services, Alaska State Museum
Providing Resources. Ingrid E. Bogel, Executive Director, Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Working Together. Althemese Barnes, Director, The John G. Riley Center/Museum of African American History & Culture, Tallahassee, Florida

11:15 a.m. – Panel IV: Help! No One Is Interested in What I Do: Keeping Collections Care Central
Engaging with the Public. Julie Heath, Coordinator, Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery
Technology and Social Networking for Collections Care. Nancie Ravenel, Objects Conservator, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont
You Aren't Alone: Collaborating to Care for Collections.
– Michael Frisch, Professor and Senior Research Scholar, Department of History, University at Buffalo and
– Chana R. Kotzin, Archivist and Historian, Jewish Buffalo Archives Project

12:30 p.m. – Closing Remarks, Anne-Imelda Radice

1:00 p.m. – Program Concludes

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Lunch/Connections Lab (tables hosted by speakers, representatives of funding agencies, and other resource representatives)