MRCG brings disaster preparedness to the Annual Symposium

This post about the recent MRCG 2018 Annual Symposium is by 2018 MRCG Emerging Professionals Scholarship winner Margalit Schindler. Margalit is a conservation assistant at the Cleveland Museum of Art.


MRCG President Claire Winfield introduces guest speaker Jessica Unger. Photo credit: Hugh Shockey.

The MRCG 2018 Symposium in St. Louis was one for the books. In addition to the session topics spanning a myriad of treatments and technical research, we were excited to welcome Jessica Unger, Emergency Programs Coordinator from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC), for a special session on Emergency Preparedness. Her talk focused on the importance of building relationships with local emergency professionals and answering key logistical questions before an incident strikes. Identifying priority objects to salvage, sharing institutional information (like blueprints, entrances, and potentially hazardous materials) with emergency responders, and understanding the working logistics of your local Incident Command System were just a few of the topics covered.

In addition to her presentation, Jessica also led attendees in a short disaster exercise, where groups were asked to devise a plan after receiving a theoretical phone call that their institution had flooded. Some details of the incident were given, and groups had to decide what information they needed to share and what questions they needed to ask of the emergency responders. Details aside, the most important takeaway from this exercise was the importance of having a predetermined emergency plan. Knowing the priorities of both your institution and the responders beforehand makes communication during and after an incident that much more effective.

Jessica also discussed FAIC’s Alliance for Response initiative, which aims to bring together cultural heritage institutions and emergency responders at the local level. One-day forums are used to launch local initiatives and foster cooperation between institutions and responders in order to better protect material cultural heritage. Many cooperative disaster networks have been formed as a result of these forums and continue to help their members plan for and respond to emergency incidents.

However, the networks are mostly concentrated in large cities on both coasts, leaving the Midwest region somewhat unaccounted for. Starting these alliances is simple, especially with the full tool kit provided by FAIC (link below). As MRCG is already a network of engaged and passionate cultural heritage professionals, we have the foundation to be more proactive and assist institutions and collectors in the Midwest. Consider reaching out to other MRCG members to start the conversation and let Jessica’s talk at the Symposium be the catalyst for starting a network in your area!

For more information on Alliance for Response:

Additional resources:

Alliance for Response tool kit:

Alliance for Response webinar series:

Incident Command Systems:

FEMA Emergency Management Institute courses:

Connecting to Collections Care:


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Updated Job Posting: KCI Sculpture & Object Conservation

Position: Object Conservator 

Deadline: December 5, 2018

KCI Conservation is seeking a full-time Object Conservator to join our busy object and sculpture conservation practice in Minneapolis, MN. KCI Conservation provides professional conservation services for a wide range of materials, but we have become especially well known and respected for the conservation of modern and contemporary art, as well as outdoor sculpture and public art. The diverse repertoire of artworks treated by KCI include traditional sculptures, decorative arts objects, ethnographic objects, monuments, fountains, mosaics, multi-media art, and kinetic art. Our clients include museums, private collectors, cities and government agencies, and corporate clients. For more information about our firm, please visit our website at:

Job Description:

The successful candidate will contribute to all aspects of the conservation practice, including: completing condition assessments of objects; writing treatment proposals and reports; providing cost estimates; conservation treatment of artworks in the conservation lab and in situ; performing treatments for outdoor sculpture; completing collections surveys; supervision of conservation technicians; and interacting with clients.  The position requires the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.


Completion of graduate level training in objects conservation from a recognized art conservation program; 3+ years post-graduate conservation experience is preferred; Highly organized with good time management skills and the ability to work within deadlines; Excellent written and oral communication skills; Demonstrated ability to work well in a group and with individuals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines; Experience supervising technicians or interns is preferred; Experience working with outdoor sculpture and public art is optimal.


Hourly pay equivalent to approximately $36,000 – $60,000 per year depending on how many projects you complete each year; KCI offers a stipend that can be used for moving expenses, purchase of conservation tools, etc., and the opportunity for annual bonuses. Have questions about this? Applicants are encouraged to contact Laura Kubick for more information at 612-564-3176 or


Cover letter and C.V. with three conservation-related references may be emailed with the subject heading “Object Conservator Position” to by December 5, 2018. Please include 2 examples of condition and treatment reports and associated photographs.



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Oh, the places you’ll go– in Saint Louis!

Are you coming to Saint Louis for the MRCG conference this weekend? Your local “experts”, MRCG members who live in Saint Louis, have put together a long list of restaurants, museums, and other attractions we recommend for you to check out during your free time!

Visit Things to do in Saint Louis now!

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Carpooling for the MRCG Symposium

MRCG members, the meeting is now less than one week away! If you would like to consider your options for carpooling with other meeting attendees– a great way to network and to conserve gas, driving hours, and the environment– please check out our carpooling page. 2018 Transportation and Carpooling

Katherine Langdon, Vice President, will try to match any additional attendees needing rides with those who have offered them by Wednesday afternoon. You may contact her if you have any questions.

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Internships available: Cincinnati Art Museum

Summer Internships in Paintings Conservation

The Cincinnati Art Museum seeks two conservation graduate students this summer to treat paintings for an upcoming exhibition. Under the supervision of the paintings conservator the interns will examine, document and conserve works by Cincinnati artist, Frank Duveneck (1848-1919).

Cincinnati lies in the scenic and hilly Ohio River valley, at the borders of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. High above the city in Eden Park, the museum, founded in 1881, has an encyclopedic collection of over 65,000 works of art. Our Conservation Department is an integral part of the museum team and includes conservators specializing in paintings, objects, paper and textiles.

Our preferred internship candidate is a student in a recognized conservation training program with a specialization in paintings, but experienced pre-program applicants will also be considered. The successful candidates will possess good hand skills, a basic understanding of paintings conservation and interest in learning about museum practice.

The internships are for eight weeks during the summer of 2019, start dates negotiable. The successful candidates will arrange her/his housing. A stipend of $6800 will be paid bi-weekly. Our application deadline in December 1, 2018. The successful applicants will be notified no later than January 15th, 2019.

To apply, please send a letter of interest along with curriculum vitae and if available, a list of completed conservation coursework and a sample treatment report. Please include the contact information for one or two references.

Questions may be directed to

Please send the application to:

Cincinnati Art Museum

ATTN: Human Resources

953 Eden Park Drive Cincinnati, OH 45202-1596

Fax: (513) 639-2932


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