Compensation for Loss in the Conservation of Photographic Materials

April 23 – 27, 2018
George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY
Instructors: James Bernstein, Debra Evans, and Victoria Binder
Organizer: Taina Meller

Compensation for Loss


Utilizing the world-renowned collections and the photograph conservation facilities of the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, this five-day course will investigate compensation techniques employed in the conservation of damaged and deteriorated historic and contemporary photographic prints. Demonstrations of techniques will be carried out by experienced conservators and innovators in the field. A wide range of inpainting media will be available for experimentation.  Intensive laboratory sessions will be dedicated to hands-on work with a variety of compensation challenges. Topics to be addressed in lecture and practice include ethics; color and light theory; inpainting media and techniques; inserting methods for losses in photographic paper, including digital fills; isolating layers; and work space design. Compensation issues with a wide variety of photographic processes from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries will be examined during the week.


The fee for this course is $750 AIC members; $950 non-AIC members. Limited to 15 participants.

This program is designed for mid-career, practicing conservators. Participants may be selected based on training, experience, balance of institutional and private practice conservators, balance of conservation specialty areas, number of registrants from a single organization, and geography. Preference will be given to AIC Professional Associate and Fellow members. Review will begin November 1 and continue until the course is filled. Notifications expected by November 15. No payment is required to apply. Payment is due only after acceptance to the program.

Application Process

To apply for space in the workshop, please fill out the Compensation for Loss Workshop Application through our online review site. To initiate the application, you will be asked to enter your email address to see if you already have an account in the system (this should be the case if you are an AIC member). If you have an email address in our system, you will then be asked to enter your password (the same password you use to log in to the site). If you do not have an account in our system, you will be asked to set one up before you begin your application.

The application will require:

  1. Applicant Information (name, contact information, membership status)
  2. A statement addressing the selection criteria (qualification for participation, demonstrated need/relevance to learn workshop content, opportunity to disseminate information gained)
  3. Upload CV/resume (PDF format preferred)
You may save your application and return later to complete it.  When you are satisfied with your responses, click on the "Save and submit" button.

Apply to Participate

Applications are no longer being accepted for this workshop.

About the Instructors

  • James Bernstein is a Conservator of Paintings & Mixed Media in freelance practice in San Francisco, CA. A graduate of the High School of Music & Art (NYC), Brandeis University, and the Cooperstown (now Buffalo) Graduate Program, Jim was Conservator / Co-Director of Conservation for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for many years. Jim has lectured extensively and taught color and loss compensation at the graduate conservation programs, museums, regional laboratories and to hundreds of conservators attending more than forty encyclopedic “Mastering Inpainting” workshops, twenty-five shared with co-instructor Debra Evans. James Bernstein is a recipient of the 2007 Sheldon and Caroline Keck AIC Award, recognizing a sustained record of excellence in the education and training of conservation professionals.
  • Debra Evans is Head of Paper Conservation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. A 1981 graduate of the Winterthur/University of Delaware program, Debra has mentored numerous interns and fellows and is a recipient of the AIC’s Sheldon and Carolyn Keck Award. She has been a lecturer for graduate museum studies and art history programs at J.F.K. University and the University of California, Berkeley. With James Bernstein she has taught twenty-five week-long “Mastering Inpainting” workshops at venues around the U.S. and abroad.
  • Victoria Binder is a conservator of paper and photographs at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. A 2007 graduate of the State University College Art Conservation Program at Buffalo, she has also worked at several private practices including that of Gawain Weaver. Her publications and presentations have included innovations in dry cast pulp fills for seamless repairs, digitally generated fills for photographs, an IPad system for microscopes, and research on the San Francisco psychedelic offset lithograph rock posters.

Scholarship Funding

FAIC/Mellon Photograph Workshop Professional Development Scholarships
With funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, FAIC offers scholarships up to $1,000, plus waiver of registration fees, to help defray professional development costs for international attendees. Proposed projects are limited to expenses related to attending FAIC Collaborative Workshops in Photograph Conservation. Applications due February 15.


Donate to FAIC

Without support, the registration fee for this workshop would be $1,350. FAIC relies on your contributions to support these and its many other programs.

Funding for this program comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation fund for Collaborative Workshops in Photograph Conservation and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding comes from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artist Works Endowment for Professional Development, which was created by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is supported by donations from members of the American Institute for Conservation and its friends. Courses are made possible with the assistance of many AIC members, but no AIC membership dues were used to create or present this course.

Contact: Sarah Saetren
Education Coordinator