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Past Annual Meetings

44th Joint Annual Meeting

Fifty years after the Arno River breached its banks, the theme for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and the Canadian Association for Conservation (Association Canadienne pour la Conservation et la Restauration) (CAC-ACCR)'s Joint 44th Annual Meeting and 42nd Annual Conference was Emergency! Preparing for Disasters and Confronting the Unexpected in Conservation

Colleagues addressed in a broad-based way the impact of past, present, and future disasters on the protection of cultural property. In addition, confronting the unexpected in conservation--whether it occurs during the treatment of an artifact or during a natural disaster--was covered.  The scope of the theme included immediate reactions, such as the application of crowd-mapping technology to aid response efforts, as well as longer term developments stemming from disasters, such as the adoption of simple strategies: Fail to Plan – Plan to Fail, effective risk assessment methodologies, the rapid transformation of damaged artifacts into objects of veneration, the repercussions of instantaneous visibility of destruction.  

Preparing for Disasters includes, in addition to situations caused by natural disasters, accidents, terrorist activities, and climate change, even well-intended, but misguided interventions that elicit global amusement and/or outrage. Confronting the Unexpected involves surprises encountered along the way in any treatment and can be expanded to include all stakeholders, even future ones, who are affected by a disaster.  Communities affected can cross geographic boundaries, social and economic populations, cultural and historical perspectives, and inter-disciplinary expertise.

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43rd Annual Meeting

The theme for AIC’s 43rd Annual Meeting in Miami, FL May 13-16, 2015 was Practical Philosophy, or Making Conservation Work. All aspects of conservation, from preventive care to in-painting, include both theory and practice. In most cases, theory supports practice. Nonetheless, conservation professionals are sometimes challenged in their efforts to smoothly meld the two. Many factors, ranging from available resources to questions of public access and politics, can thwart even the best treatment plans and noblest intentions. The transition from what we initially envision as ideal to what we eventually acknowledge as realistic often requires compromise. But, are less than satisfactory outcomes inevitable? Or, can better solutions evolve from necessity? Presentations in the general session and throughout the meeting discussed how philosophical principles can be successfully translated into workable—even superior—practice.

Because UNESCO proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light, the Program Committee selected presentations discussing practical solutions that take advantage of optical technology to examine and preserve cultural heritage. Read the UNESCO International Year of Light Prospectus  for more information.

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42nd Annual Meeting

Conscientious Conservation – Sustainable Choices in Collection Care
San Francisco, CA, May 28-31, 2014

No longer focusing exclusively on treatment, conservation professionals today routinely incorporate preventive measures into the care of cultural heritage. Coupled with the awareness that our work takes place within the larger context of an increasingly interconnected and vulnerable global environment, we have become more dedicated to the issue of sustainability. The new Collections Care Network and the Sustainability Committee combined forces to develop a program for 2014 under the theme Conscientious Conservation – Sustainable Choices in Collection Care, which explored how these two concepts are changing the way we practice conservation. Topics ranged from architectural projects to re-housing and storage, approaches to archaeological excavations, collection maintenance practices, or recycling and efficiencies in your own private practice.

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41st Annual Meeting

The Contemporary in Conservation
Indianapolis, May 29-June 1, 2013

The theme of the meeting will be The Contemporary in Conservation, focusing on contemporary approaches to conservation, not only the conservation of contemporary art, and will include perspectives from within as well as outside the field. In addition to the treatment of contemporary art, the conference will consider topics including:  current issues in conservation and preservation, such as digitization, environmental sustainability or the effects of architectural design on the preservation of objects; current trends in exhibition design and the new challenges they present for preservation including greater physical access, longer display times and more touring exhibitions.  In addition to conservators, we welcome participation from related professionals.

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40th Annual Meeting

Connecting to Conservation: Outreach and Advocacy
Albuquerque, NM May 8-11, 2012

The theme of this annual meeting will be outreach and advocacy in conservation, an exploration of how conservation connects with allied professionals, the press, our clients, and the general public. This meeting will feature a General Session format very different than in years past. For the 40th Annual Meeting, in addition to one session where all attendees gather to hear a selection of presenters, there will be other breakout sessions where a wide array of topics pertaining to the overall theme will be addressed in topical conversations presented in smaller group settings rather than a large lecture format. 

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39th Annual Meeting

Ethos, Logos, Pathos: Ethical Principles and Critical Thinking in Conservation
Philadelphia, PA • May 31 - June 1, 2011
The goal of this meeting was to examine how ethics, logic, and perception guide conservation decisions. Assumptions long held in the practice of conservation are being challenged by the modern world. Environmental sustainability, economic drivers, art as entertainment, the use of cultural heritage, and public access concerns changing the practice of conservation.  Do the core values of conservation still hold?

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38th Annual Meeting

Conservation Continuum—examining the past, envisioning the future
Milwaukee, WI • May 11-14, 2010
This Annual Meeting set the theoretical framework for the discussion of conservation in a changing world. The talks represented aspects of the profession examining itself, incorporating theory and interpretation into its focus and identity and, conversely, the necessity of reinventing the role/image of conservation in a public institution. The meeting also described the place of conservation in a global environment, moving towards the future on several fronts.

37th Annual Meeting

Conservation 2.0—New Directions
Los Angeles, CA • May 19-22, 2009
The program highlighted the ways in which emerging technologies will affect the conservation field. Papers outlined and showcased recent advances in all specialties addressing scientific analysis, treatment method and material improvements, and documentation. Papers focused on improving environmental practices for all aspects of conservation and business practices were also invited.

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36th Annual Meeting

Creative Collaborations
Denver, CO • April 21-24, 2008
This program covered the unique challenges that come with the preservation of looted art, details on how to safeguard collections during times of construction, a successful partnership that emerged after a natural disaster, and many more topics of interest to professional conservators and those who work with them.

35th Annual Meeting

Fakes, Forgeries and Fabrications
Richmond, VA • April 16-20, 2007
Insatiable demand and record prices at auction for fine art and artifacts have fueled new interest in optimistic attribution of cultural property, misattibution of property, and the creation of deceptive forgeries. How do the marketplace, museums, and courts define fakes, forgeries, and fabrications? How do connoisseurs, art historians, and scientists discriminate authentic works? When does deceptive manufacture of misattribution cross the line to criminal fraud? How does law enforcement apprehend and prosecute criminal perpetrators? How does the law define an expert? How can conservators, scientists, and other art experts protect themselves from civil complaints of libel, slander, disparagement, and more? Does authenticity affect insurance underwriting and claims for damage or loss? These questions and more were explored at the 35th Annual Meeting.

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34th Annual Meeting

Using Artifacts: Is Conservation Compromised?
Providence, RI • June 16-19, 2006
This program highlighted on the importance of viewing conservation in the larger context of heritage management and as part of sustainable development...preservation as a way to offer support to communities and individuals in their current struggles for idenitity and development, in contrast to considering preservation as an idealized view of the past. Other issues, such as who or what conservators serve (people or things), questions of ownership, justifiable use, definitions of what is considered "damaged,"  the need for preservation of specimens during numerous scientific analyses, and the emotional stories objects tell, were also addressed.

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Annual Meeting History

Year        Meeting Number  Location
1973 1 Kansas City, MO
1974 2 Cooperstown, NY
1975 3 Mexico City, Mexico
1976 4 Dearborn, MI
1977 5 Boston, MA
1978 6 Fort Worth, TX
1979 7 Toronto, Canada
1980 8 San Francisco, CA
1981 9 Philadelphia, PA
1982 10 Milwaukee, WI
1983 11 Baltimore, MD
1984 12 Los Angeles, CA
1985 13 Washington, D.C.
1986 14 Chicago, IL
1987 15 Vancouver, Canada
1988 16 New Orleans, LA
1989 17 Cincinnati, OH
1990 18 Richmond, VA
1991 19 Albuquerque, NM
1992 20 Buffalo, NY
1993 21 Denver, CO
1994 22 Nashville, TN
1995 23 St. Paul, MN
1996 24 Norfolk, VA
1997 25 San Diego, CA
1998 26 Washington, D.C.
1999 27 St. Louis, MO
2000 28 Philadelphia, PA
2001 29 Dallas, TX
2002 30 Miami, FL
2003 31 Washington, D.C.
2004 32 Portland, OR
2005 33 Minneapolis, MN
2006 34 Providence, RI
2007 35 Richmond, VA
2008 36 Denver, CO
2009 37 Los Angeles, CA
2010 38 Milwaukee, WI
2011 39 Philadelphia, PA
2012 40 Albuquerque, NM
2013 41 Indianapolis, IN
2014 42 San Francisco, CA
2015 43 Miami, FL
2016 44 Montreal, Canada
2017 45 Chicago, IL
2018 46 Houston, TX