ARTISTS' INTENT: MATERIAL CULTURE STUDIES AND CONSERVATION
Information from conservation efforts can influence aspects of exhibit design and the content of labels. Conservation documentation can also be important during access to collections by curators, researchers, and native peoples. The role of conservation as it relates to the material culture of Native Americans is under reevaluation. To preserve only the physical qualities of objects is not enough. Rather, through greater research and collaboration in aspects of technical study, materials analysis, cultural context, and object history, it is possible to improve the existing documentation and make a contribution to other areas of knowledge.
The author would like to thank R.Gwinn Vivian of the Arizona State Museum for his support and comments on the manuscript. Special thanks are also due to the conservators that worked on the Paths of Life project: Scott Carroll, Jo Willey, Matthew Crawford, Sarah Reiter, Susan Braovac, Landis Smith, Patricia Grewe-Mullins, Rebecca Snyder, and Michelle Hebert.