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Subject: Professional qualifications and AIC

Professional qualifications and AIC

From: Bill Wiebold <wieboldstudio>
Date: Friday, June 20, 2003
I am a 60 year old conservator who has been a member of AIC since
1961. I also have concerns; however I have just as many concerns
about our profession: for example, the conservation factories that
advertise in the trade magazines etc. For just $995.00 and 6 days
for an introduction, another $695.00 and 3 days for advanced
training and another $595.00 for 3 days final training plus a
discount as a member of AIC, you can become a conservator. Then you
can hang out a sign, cut your colleague prices in half, tout the
same quality, experience and professionalism and away we go. And
before long we have the same problem the attorneys have. There are
too many and not enough business to go around not to mention the
thousands of works of art that have been destroyed in the interim.

Now put your self in the position of the director of a museum. They
want to hire a new conservator for their new lab. They have
interviewed 150 (qualified conservators) with great resumes. How are
they to choose from this stack of so called qualified conservators.
One has the skills to restore the paintings in our museum but they
don't have the background in researching the pigments, ground,
canvas etc. Oh, I forgot to mention the x-ray and spectrometer that
was donated to us for research. Now I am told by my lab staff that
they will have to out source the inpainting because they are not
artists they are conservators and this portrait is missing half of
its face. Now my board of directors and trustees want to know why we
are paying someone $50,000.00 a year and they cannot in paint a face
on a portrait which was donated by our main benefactor.

Now put yourself in the position of the new graduate from NYU. They
have spent thousands of dollars and years of study to go to school
to get the best training possible for their chosen profession. They
still have to face a review board, interview with the director of
the museum and have several years at work in the museum before they
can hang out their sign if they want to go into private practice
across the street from the conservation factory.

No one said this would be easy or even fair but if some one doesn't
try to regulate this profession it is all for nought. How can we go
forward if people are not willing to discuss these issues honestly
and openly. I commend you for having the courage to voice your
opinion but there are those who under great pressure from colleague,
directors, bosses, etc. who may not be able of voice their opinion.
This is why this is such a great forum.

Bill Wiebold
Wiebold Art Conservation Lab
413 Terrace Place
Terrace Park, Ohio 4517
Fax: 513-831-2815

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:3
                   Distributed: Friday, June 20, 2003
                        Message Id: cdl-17-3-002
Received on Friday, 20 June, 2003

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