While the day to day activities of curators and conservators may seem far from one another, whether physically or conceptually, or both, cooperation between these fields is mutually beneficial and rewarding.
Our dialogue between panelists with a wide range of experiences—Margo Delidow, Assistant Conservator, Whitney Museum, and a member of the Whitney’s Replication Committee; Martha Demas, Senior Project Specialist, Getty Conservation Institute; and Marcia Reed, Chief Curator and Associate Director, Special Collections & Exhibitions, Getty Research Institute—will touch upon overall points of view, best practices, and practical questions relating to the synergy possible between curators and conservators.
Specific examples will include Delidow’s discussion of the Whitney Replication Committee, which gathers curators, conservators, and others to discuss the possible reproduction of part or all of an artwork in cases where restoration is not possible, and Demas’ and Reed’s discussion of the collaboration that led to the Getty exhibition Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road, along with additional topics drawn from the panelists’ work and questions posed by the moderator and audience.
Meet the Speakers
Margo Delidow, Assistant Conservator, Whitney Museum of American Art
Margo completed a Masters of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Study in Conservation from The Art Conservation Program at Buffalo State, The State University of New York and has authored papers on the ethics in conservation treatment for artist such as Matthew Barney, Eileen Gray and collaborative works of Nam June Paik and Christo. Margo is a member of the Whitney Museum of American Art's Replication Committee.
Martha Demas, Senior Project Specialist, Getty Conservation Institute
Martha Demas received her PhD in Aegean Archaeology and after several years engaged in archaeological excavation, research and publication in Cyprus, she pursued an M.A. in Historic Preservation, specializing in conservation of the archaeological heritage. Demas joined the Getty Conservation Institute in 1990, where she is currently a Senior Project Specialist. She has been involved in many of the Institute’s international field projects, including in China, the Mediterranean, Egypt, Central America and Tanzania. Through her projects she has engaged in developing methodologies, guidelines, and training courses, and in research and publication, with a principal focus on conservation and management of archaeological sites. Since 1996 she has been most actively involved with the Institute’s projects in China, collaborating with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and China ICOMOS in the development of national guidelines for the conservation and management of cultural heritage sites – formally known as the Principles for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in China – and in their application to a broad spectrum of conservation activities at the World Heritage sites of the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang and the Qing Dynasty Mountain Resort in Chengde. In addition to her research and publications on archaeological heritage and on the history of conservation in China, most recently she was co-editor of the publication focused on carrying capacity and visitor management, Strategies for Sustainable Tourism at the Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang, China (Springer Briefs in Archaeology 2015).
Marcia Reed, Chief Curator, Associate Director, and Head of Special Collections and Exhibitions, Getty Research Institute
Marcia Reed, presently Chief Curator, Associate Director, and Head of Special Collections and Exhibitions, Marcia Reed has been at the Getty Research Institute since its establishment in 1983. Her curatorial research and publications focus on works on paper, especially the literature of art history and the history of collecting. Among the exhibitions she has curated featuring the Getty Research Institute collections are China on Paper: European and Chinese Works from the Sixteenth to the Early Nineteenth Centuries (Getty Research Institute, 2007-8) with an illustrated catalogue, The Magnificent Piranesi (Getty Villa, 2007-8), Picturing the Natural World (Getty Museum, 2003), and Naples and Vesuvius on the Grand Tour (Getty Research Institute, 2001-2). Her 2015-6 Getty exhibition, The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals is currently at the Detroit Institute of Arts through mid-April. Work-in-progress includes a publication and possible exhibition of the Jean Brown collection of avant-garde and Fluxus works, and a catalog of the GRI’s artists’ book collections in collaboration with Glenn Phillips.
Margery King, Curator, American Federation of Arts, Moderator
Margery King is a curator at the American Federation of Arts, where she is currently responsible for exhibitions on Matisse’s drawings (curated by Ellsworth Kelly) and Latin American artists in Paris at the dawn of Modernism, among others, as well as curating an exhibition series devoted to contemporary artists’ installations. Prior to joining the AFA, she was an independent curator focusing on international modern and contemporary art, curator for the estate of performance artist Leigh Bowery (ongoing), and a curator at the Andy Warhol Museum. She has organized numerous exhibitions, including Janine Antoni: Within; Popular CultureS/Michael Parekowhai/Ravinder Reddy/Yinka Shonibare; The Arts of Jean Cocteau; Mariko Mori; The Warhol Look; and New Installations by Yayoi Kusama, Greer Lankton, and Andre Walker. She graduated summa cum laude with honors in art history from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she was selected for Phi Beta Kappa and received the Virginia B. Wright Art History Prize and the Nancy Hoffman Prize in Art History. She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Curators, as well as the organization’s Professional Development Committee, and a member of the College Art Association.