The MRCG was formed in 1980 by art conservation and restoration professionals with the purpose of bringing together those individuals in the Midwest region (and beyond) interested in the preservation of historic and artistic works and to promote fellowship and exchange of ideas on a professional level.
The first meeting of the Guild was held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields) on Saturday, October 25, 1980. Art conservation experts specializing in archive, painting, paper, object, and textile conservation from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio met that day to discuss conservation treatment issues, conservation techniques, and the “formation of an information network and cooperative disaster policy for the Midwest.” (IMA) paintings conservator David Miller was the Guild’s first president and presided over the first meeting of approximately 40 participants. The program consisted of an organizational meeting, museum tours, and two slide presentations.
The Guild was organized in recognition of the pressing concerns of “museum curators and private collectors alike to preserve great works of art against the ravages of time and the environment, as well as to uncover increasingly sophisticated forgeries.”
The original purpose and character of the guild was defined by the following principles:
- The Guild should provide a framework for knowing other conservators and laboratories in our region.
- The Guild should provide informal exchange of ideas with our colleagues.
- The Guild should serve as a “problem solving forum.”
- The Guild could accurately represent our needs to national level agencies.
- Meetings could be held twice a year, rotating geographic location.
The Guild and its resources have evolved over time, in keeping with the original principles. We now meet once per year in the Fall, and we have established an online presence to facilitate the communication of information among members.
To access a pdf version of the Officer Manual and Bylaws of the MRCG, please click here.
MRCG publications are resources for members, including biannual newsletters, a directory of members, and a new archive of papers and presentations from past Symposiums. The website also features a public blog.