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Getty Conservation Institute Hosts Williams on Thursday, October 18, at 7 pm
as Part of its Conservation Matters Lecture Series

October 2, 2007

LOS ANGELES—Nearly every parent has their child’s macaroni art stashed somewhere in the house, or brittle sepia photos of family relatives and fading snapshots of childhood tucked into a box.  But few people think about the best way to preserve these precious items until a catastrophe hits – the basement floods or the boxes in the attic decay.

“Saving Stuff,” however, is Smithsonian Senior Conservator Don Williams’ specialty, and he’s willing to share his insight into professional museum techniques that can be used to protect valued family or community possessions.  The Getty’s free public lecture series, Conservation Matters: Lectures at the Getty, will host Williams on Thursday, October 18, at 7 pm in the Harold Williams Auditorium.  Attendees should RSVP by visiting or calling (310) 440-7300. 

As American homes fill with more possessions, Williams sees a growing national desire to preserve cherished objects.

"For most people, sentimental value trumps everything," says Williams. "We're not just saying, 'Save this stuff.’  "We're saying, 'Save this stuff and all the memories with it.' That's very rich."

Williams will present practical advice along with entertaining anecdotes from his long and varied career, which has included conserving Archie Bunker's chair and the Wright Brothers' Flyer, teaching the arts of marquetry and gilding, and amassing the world's largest collection of books on shellac.

About Don Williams
Don Williams is senior furniture conservator at the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute and an expert in historical woodworking and finishes. He was also coordinator of education and training for the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute from 1994 to 2001. Williams leads courses and seminars across the country on preservation and appreciation of historic materials. His book Saving Stuff, co-written with Louisa Jaggar, shows how anyone can effectively preserve their own treasures—comic books, wedding dresses, baseball cards, furniture, stamps, fine art, papers, film, pictures, records, CDs, doll houses, flags, the family Bible, insects, and more—without going to extreme effort and expense.

About Conservation Matters
Conservation Matters is a series of occasional lectures hosted by the Getty Conservation Institute examining conservation issues from around the world. For more information, visit

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Melissa Abraham
Getty Communications

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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The Getty Conservation Institute works internationally to advance conservation practice in the visual arts-broadly interpreted to include objects, collections, architecture, and sites. The Institute serves the conservation community through scientific research, education and training, model field projects, and the dissemination of the results of both its own work and the work of others in the field. In all its endeavors, the GCI focuses on the creation and delivery of knowledge that will benefit the professionals and organizations responsible for the conservation of the world's cultural heritage. To learn more, subscribe to the GCI's E-Bulletin by visiting

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