CONSERVATION POLICY AND THE EXHIBITION OF MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
4 THE EXHIBITION CONSERVATOR
The need for specialist conservators for the field of exhibition conservation is obvious. The responsibilities for such a person should include:
- evaluation of the condition of objects and collections, and determining their susceptibility to environmental factors;
- establishing criteria and guidelines for enviromental control of collections within storage, exhibition areas, and elsewhere;
- devising systems and methods of monitoring environmental levels;
- advising on conservation and technical factors relating to loan and circulating exhibitions;
- advising on building planning in so far as this affects collections;
- communicates with colleagues in the field, architects, engineers, and exhibition specialists.
The person meeting these requirements should have practical conservation training at an acceptable institution and, additionally, some background in mechanical engineering, physics, meteorology, or similar disciplines. He should also have well-developed communication skills.
Some conservators or museum scientists are already filling the role of exhibition conservator. It is far better, however, to develop this expertise in one person. The matter of the reporting relationship is somewhat difficult to resolve. The Exhibition Conservator should report to the Exhibitions Director, or failing that, to the Museum Director and should have a close functional relationship with the Conservation Department.