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Subject: Certification


From: N.J. Bud Goldstone <budgoldstone>
Date: Friday, January 10, 2003
Certification--a growth industry

Should we AIC members, Professional Associates and Fellows embrace
certification of not only ourselves but also other professionals who
may become our "technical consultants"? Should that large group
include architects, engineers, chemists, scientists of all types,
arborists, landscape architects and hydrologists? I think so. From
many years experience,  I am convinced that those in other
professions who work regularly, or even occasionally, with
conservators should also be "certified" or at least exposed to a
specialized secondary education.

Take engineers like I was. Engineers are mostly bad bets to make it
in the field of conservation without education in the conservation
science and a lot of exposure to typical and a-typical conservation
problems and suitable solutions. We old aircraft types know strength
of materials, weights, kinematics, statics, dynamics and
aerodynamics, flutter, wind tunnels, pressures, microelectronics,
computers, data plotting, blueprints, materials, statistics, and
engineering drawings. Since 1959 when I was a practicing aircraft
structures engineer, some truly great conservators showed me the
error of my engineering ways in their field. Later I won a
competition to "reinstall" a mangled, almost completely ruined,
large wind-and water-driven Alexander Calder mobile, "Hello Girls",
for LACMA Conservation Center. I then learned from Dr. Pieter Meyers
and objects conservator Steve Colton that engineers designing
repairs in artworks must guarantee that the repair will fail *first*
under load, before the original artwork does. Failure must be
*first* in the repairs whether the loads are compression, tension,
shear or bearing. My engineering educators at Ohio State and Purdue
taught that such a thought would end my career! Repairs are to last
beyond the life of the product. Not in art conservation. How about a
test engineer watching his test rigging fail *before* the test
specimen? Wrong again for you test engineers. The rigging must also
fail *first* before the artwork! How about trying to bond thousands
of rocks and chunks of debris together into a load-carrying
structure just because the pieces are "historic"? Forget that, it is
not only nearly impossible but if he finds out I recommended that,
my Purdue structures professor, Elmer Bruhn, would turn over in his

OK. So what if we AICers are forced to also certify these dummies as
conservator-helpers? What will that cost each of them? I guess the
cost will be tax-deductible? In any case we must solve that one
along with the other issues as we toddle toward certification.

Bud Goldstone, AIC Prof. Assoc., Los Angeles, CA

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:42
                 Distributed: Friday, January 10, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-42-003
Received on Friday, 10 January, 2003

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