UCLA/Getty Conservation Program

A graduate conservation training program focusing on the conservation of archaeological and ethnographic materials

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Conservation and Ethnography: Promoting Cultural Heritage in Southern California

Last quarter, UCLA/Getty students took the course “Conservation and Ethnography” (CAEM 222) taught by Prof. Ellen Pearlstein. The goal for the class was to acquaint students with the changing emphasis of conservation, from neutral acts based purely on material properties, to a series of humanistic and scientific decisions that consider the heritage source, its specific communities, the current and future roles for heritage, as well as evolving technical developments for both prevention and treatment. Through the examination and treatment of southern California basketry, students learned about these aspects of conservation as well as focused on the processes and properties of California (and neighboring) states’ native basketry, deterioration mechanisms and conservation treatment methods.

In addition to treating southern California baskets from the collection of the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and the Yosemite Museum, students were asked to imagine that in addition to creating their documentation for the next conservator, that they are creating it to assist Cahuilla weavers, ethnobotanists, revivalists, cultural descendants, or museum board and staff members in using their class project basket to answer questions and to promote culture. You can find links to the documentation they produced below.



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Conservation Questionnaire

Brought about by the upcoming session “Conservation of California Sites and Artifacts” at this year’s Society for California Archaeology’s 2010 Annual Meeting (March 17-20, Riverside, CA), a “Conservation Questionnaire” was created. The purpose of this form is to survey archaeologists and other professionals working with California archaeological materials about their use of conservation resources and their experiences working with conservators. Your responses will be helpful for the development of additional resources and education programs on conservation for the California archaeology community. After completing the questionnaire, if you would like to be included in the development of these resources, or if you have further comments, please leave your name and contact information in the space provided at the end of the form.

The questionnaire can be accessed here.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the questionnaire!
Molly Gleeson
Özge Gençay-Üstün
Vanessa Muros