facebookpixel
Select Page

Guidelines in Action: UCLA/Getty Conservation Program

May 7, 2019

UCLA/Getty student Emily Rezes (’20) receiving instruction from Kumeyaay weaver Eva Salazar at the Barona Cultural Center and Museum, San Diego, California. Photo courtesy of Ellen Pearlstein


In 2017 the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research first published a new resource known as the Guidelines for Collaboration. Drawing from decades of case studies and three years of focused work with Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders, and artists, the Guidelines provide a series of methods for how museums and source communities can work together across two-way learning opportunities. Today the Guidelines are used in classrooms, museums, cultural institutions, tribal communities, and elsewhere.

Guidelines in Action is a series of guest posts highlighting stories from the field.


Guest post by Ellen Pearlstein, Professor of Information Studies and the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials

The Guidelines teach young conservators about how emotional and surprising it can be to discover one’s own heritage in unexpected places and how harsh the lab environment can be to community members.

Ellen Pearlstein. Photo courtesy of UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials


As a conservation educator I am always inspired by, and assign to students, the Community+Museums and Museums+Community Guidelines. The mission statement for the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials includes “the importance of working within a cultural context and as part of an interdisciplinary team,” and furthermore, “the program emphasizes the collaborative nature of conservation.” Understanding these concepts, and the ways in which working with communities improves conservation work and heals relationships are all thoughtfully mapped out in the Guidelines.

UCLA/Getty student Skyler Jenkins ('20) enjoying help received from Kumeyaay weaver Eva Salazar at the Barona Cultural Center and Museum. Photo courtesy of Ellen Pearlstein

UCLA/Getty student Skyler Jenkins (’20) enjoying help received from Kumeyaay weaver Eva Salazar at the Barona Cultural Center and Museum, San Diego, California. Photo courtesy of Ellen Pearlstein

In my instruction at UCLA/Getty I incorporate Guidelines principles by including Native instructors in the teaching practice, and by working with tribal cultural centers and museums in a long-term collaboration to build relationships and illustrate first-person representation to students. This instruction inspires respect and hospitality in young conservators and moves students away from jargon in reporting practices. By including tribal members among the experts consulted, conservation students are able to learn how baskets are made, how they are part of a network of relationships, and how materials have not only mechanical and chemical properties, but also traditional values. They learn about the high regard in which the community holds expert weavers who are responsible for revitalizing and sharing important traditions.

The Guidelines teach young conservators about how emotional and surprising it can be to discover one’s own heritage in unexpected places and how harsh the lab environment can be to community members. Using the Guidelines, I have assigned conservation students to prepare a potluck meal to welcome community guests and used students’ visual, analytical, and documentation skills to answer questions important to the community. While students are familiar with proposing conservation work to curators, with whom we hope we are on equal footing within museums, my instruction promotes proposing conservation to tribal councils, who respect the work conservation provides but with whom students are not on equal footing. There is an important humility that is taught to young conservators working in this way.

The Guidelines contribute to evaluations like the following:

“I felt this class was extremely important in order to improve our skills working with communities and specifically with Native communities.”

“I learned a lot from this course. It was particularly rewarding to engage with Barona community members throughout the quarter. This class should definitely continue to be offered, as it provides an important educational experience for emerging conservators.”

“Strengths: Valuable interaction with Native community leading to good understanding of basketry materials and techniques, as well as collaborative decision making.”


Learn more about the IARC Guidelines for Collaboration here.


 

SIGN UP FOR THE SAR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER and stay up to date on our projects and programs.

Follow SAR

Upcoming Events

Jan
31
Fri
2020
10:00 am Walking Tours of SAR’s Historic ... @ School for Advanced Research
Walking Tours of SAR’s Historic ... @ School for Advanced Research
Jan 31 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Walking Tours of SAR's Historic Estate @ School for Advanced Research | Santa Fe | New Mexico | United States
Reservations for campus tours must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Explore the fascinating history, stunning architecture, and beautiful outdoor gardens of the School for Advanced Research. Originally the 1920s home of Amelia[...]
2:00 pm Tours of the Indian Arts Researc... @ Indian Arts Research Center
Tours of the Indian Arts Researc... @ Indian Arts Research Center
Jan 31 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) houses an outstanding collection of Native American art, including pottery, jewelry, textiles and clothing, paintings, basketry, and drums. With more than 12,000, items, the IARC is home to works[...]
Feb
7
Fri
2020
10:00 am Walking Tours of SAR’s Historic ... @ School for Advanced Research
Walking Tours of SAR’s Historic ... @ School for Advanced Research
Feb 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Walking Tours of SAR's Historic Estate @ School for Advanced Research | Santa Fe | New Mexico | United States
Reservations for campus tours must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Explore the fascinating history, stunning architecture, and beautiful outdoor gardens of the School for Advanced Research. Originally the 1920s home of Amelia[...]
2:00 pm Tours of the Indian Arts Researc... @ Indian Arts Research Center
Tours of the Indian Arts Researc... @ Indian Arts Research Center
Feb 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) houses an outstanding collection of Native American art, including pottery, jewelry, textiles and clothing, paintings, basketry, and drums. With more than 12,000, items, the IARC is home to works[...]
Feb
13
Thu
2020
6:30 pm Creative Thought Forum Lecture –... @ St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art
Creative Thought Forum Lecture –... @ St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art
Feb 13 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Creative Thought Forum Lecture - Chaco Landscapes: Sensory and Political Engagements with Place @ St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art | Santa Fe | New Mexico | United States
SAR’s third annual Creative Thought Forum series invites members and the public to explore our understanding of where humanity is going in a new age of technological and cultural shifts under the thematic umbrella of[...]
Feb
14
Fri
2020
10:00 am Creative Thought Forum Salon: Ch... @ Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom, SAR
Creative Thought Forum Salon: Ch... @ Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom, SAR
Feb 14 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Creative Thought Forum Salon: Chaco Landscapes, Sensory and Political Engagements with Place @ Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom, SAR | Santa Fe | New Mexico | United States
The Friday following the lecture, SAR hosts an informal salon discussion with archaeologist Ruth Van Dyke. The salon is an opportunity for a conversation-style gathering with the speaker and provides a deeper exploration of the lecture[...]
10:00 am Walking Tours of SAR’s Historic ... @ School for Advanced Research
Walking Tours of SAR’s Historic ... @ School for Advanced Research
Feb 14 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Walking Tours of SAR's Historic Estate @ School for Advanced Research | Santa Fe | New Mexico | United States
Reservations for campus tours must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Explore the fascinating history, stunning architecture, and beautiful outdoor gardens of the School for Advanced Research. Originally the 1920s home of Amelia[...]
2:00 pm Tours of the Indian Arts Researc... @ Indian Arts Research Center
Tours of the Indian Arts Researc... @ Indian Arts Research Center
Feb 14 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) houses an outstanding collection of Native American art, including pottery, jewelry, textiles and clothing, paintings, basketry, and drums. With more than 12,000, items, the IARC is home to works[...]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share this

Share this post with your friends!