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New Getty Program Awards First Grants to Conservation Guest Scholars

October 12, 2000

Los Angeles--The Getty Conservation Institute announced today that it has awarded the first grants in a new residency program to nine distinguished international scholars. The 2000-01 Conservation Guest Scholars include scientists, authors, professors, cultural heritage consultants, and researchers from Brazil, Italy, Great Britain, Australia, Chile, the United States, and Colombia. The group will be in residence at the Getty for three to six months using the Getty's extensive resources which include the facilities of the Getty Conservation Institute, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute Library and collections.

Every year the J. Paul Getty Trust, through the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Grant Program, provides support for professional research to outstanding scholars from around the world. The Conservation Institute's new Conservation Guest Scholars program increases the research opportunities available through the Getty and emphasizes areas of interest to the international conservation community, including work on historic sites, buildings, and works of art.

The following scholars will receive Conservation Guest Scholar grants: Raquel Carreras, Leonardo Barci Castriota, Sharon Cather, Giacomo Chiari, Thomas J. Learner, Blanca Niño Norton, Olga Pizano, Sharon Sullivan, and Eugenio Yunis. Complete biographical information is attached.

"We hope that our guest scholars program will serve to encourage new ideas and perspectives on conservation by providing researchers, scientists, and professionals from conservation and allied fields the opportunity to pursue their own scholarly research and innovative thinking," says Timothy P. Whalen, director of the Getty Conservation Institute. "This program has the potential both to raise the level of scholarly research in conservation and to address critical problems and issues. We are especially interested in research on the theoretical underpinnings of conservation--how conservation functions in society, why we conserve, how social and technical considerations are linked--and on conservation issues in the visual arts."

Conservation Guest Scholar grants are awarded on a competitive basis to professionals working to advance the conservation field. Many of the scholars will use their residence time to conduct research for books and other publications. The scholars will also pursue projects including those that document methods to stop the deterioration of wall paintings, conserve wood in historic buildings or sculpture, or ensure the long life of modern paintings. Another project will analyze Maya Blue, a synthetic pigment found in pre-Columbian artifacts and wall paintings. Research will also help develop systems of conservation that work to protect the cultural heritage of many countries.

For more information and application guidelines, please refer to

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The Getty Conservation Institute
Conservation Guest Scholars 2000-01

Raquel Carreras is a researcher on wood conservation with the Centro Nacional De Conservación, Restauración y Museologia in Cuba, where her work has focused on the identification and conservation of wood used in historical buildings, sculpture, archeological and ethnographic objects, and other works of art and artifacts. Dr. Carreras is the author of numerous texts and articles, including Anatomia de la madera de 157 especies forestales de Cuba y sus usos tecnologicos, historicos y culturales (1995); "La croix de Christophe Colomb à Baracoa (Cuba): son histoire et l'identification de son bois" (1990); and Como conocer la estructura de la madera (1997). While at the Getty, she will be prepare a manual for identification of the main woods used in historic edification, fine furniture, and sculpture.
In residence from April-June 2001

Leonardo Barci Castriota is chair of the department of architectural history and theory at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil, coordinator of its Postgraduate Course of Urban and Architectural Revitalization; and president of the Brazilian Institute of Architects. An active author, editor, and reviewer, his many publications include the books A Arquitetura da Moderindade: Belo Horizonte (1998); O Projecto Lagoinha (1995); and Parque Municipal: Cronica de um Seculo (1992). While a Conservation Guest Scholar, he will work toward systemizing discussion on the concept of conservation and investigating the resulting management strategies and practices.
In residence from December 2000-May 2001

Sharon Cather, originally from the United States, is a lecturer with the department of wall paintings conservation at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Her work has most recently focused on diagnostic investigations, particularly of environmental causes of deterioration; imaging and documentation; and work with field programs in Malta, Cyprus, and England. The author of "Complexity & Communication: Principles of In Situ Conservation" included in Conservation of Ancient Sites on the Silk Road (1993), she also served as an editor of Early Medieval Wall Painting and Painted Sculpture in England: Based on the Proceedings of a Symposium at the Courtauld Institute of Art, February, 1985 (1990) and The Conservation of Wall Paintings: Proceedings of a Symposium Organized by the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Getty Conservation Institute, London, July 13-16, 1987 (1991). While at the Getty, she will be writing a comprehensive book titled Conserving Wall Paintings. Targeting a broad audience, she will emphasize contextual and multidisciplinary approaches, and both passive and preventive measures.
In residence from September 2000-February 2001

Giacomo Chiari is a professor of mineralogy at the University of Turin in Italy. His scientific contributions to the conservation of cultural heritage include extensive work in crystallography, research into the chemical and mineralogical characterization of the materials used in earthen architecture and methods for their treatment, study on the conservation of stone and ancient mortars, and investigation into methods for dating mural paintings and identifying their pigments. His many writings include "Analisi dei panneggi censori" in Michelangelo - La Cappella Sistina - Rapporto sul Restauro del Giudizio Universale (1999); co-authorship of "Archaeomagnetic Results from Mural Paintings and Pyroclastic Rocks in Pompeii and Herculaneum" in Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors (2000); and a chapter on mineralogy and cultural heritage to be included in the forthcoming volume 2 of European Mineralogical Union Notes in Mineralogy (2000). His research will focus on the comparative structural characterization of Maya Blue from diverse archaeological and historical sources. This pigment is a synthetic material of pre-Columbian origin found in Mayan and other Mesoamerican artifacts and wall paintings. Its presence and distribution outside the Mesoamerican cultural region, through the 19th century, has also been documented.
In residence from April-June 2001

Thomas J. Learner is a conservation scientist at the Tate Gallery in London. His current research investigates the use, properties, and conservation of modern paints, including the development of analytical techniques for their characterization. He recently co-authored with Jo Crook a newly published book titled The Impact of Modern Paints (2000); other writings include "A Review of Synthetic Binding Media in 20th Century Paints" in The Conservator (2000), and "The Analysis of Synthetic Resins Found in 20th Century Media" in Resins Ancient and Modern (1995). During cleaning, components leached from paint film may contribute to the deterioration of modern paintings. Dr. Learner will work on identifying the extractable components from acrylic emulsion paints, and establishing the likelihood of such extraction in acrylic paints.
In residence from January-March 2001

Blanca Niño Norton is a vice president of the ICOMOS Scientific Committee on Vernacular Architecture, a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Council of ICCROM, and a professor with the faculty of architecture at the University Francisco Marroquin. She has focused her research and publications on vernacular architecture in Guatemala. Her conservation guest scholar project on using documentation and inventory of cultural property as tools against illicit traffic of cultural heritage is directed toward the development of a working kit to be used by professionals and citizens to protect Colombia's cultural heritage.
In residence from January-March 2001

Olga Pizano is a consultant in cultural heritage whose current work examines the evolution of the management of architectural and urban heritage in Colombia in the 20th century. A contributor to numerous publications, she is a co-author of Recuperacion Espacial de la Avenida Jimenez y el Parque Santander (1999). Her Conservation Guest Scholar project is focused on protection instruments on the international level and the education and management of architectural and urban heritage.
In residence from October-December 2000

Sharon Sullivan is an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland and at James Cook University, and she works as a heritage consultant in Australia and internationally. She was director of the Australian Heritage Commission from 1990 to 1999 and head of the Australian government's Australian and World Heritage Group from 1995 to 1999. She previously served as deputy director of the National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales. A co-author with Colin Pearson of Looking after Heritage Places: The Basics of Heritage Planning for Managers, Landowners and Administrators (1995) and the author of "A Planning Model for the Conservation of Archaeological Sites" included in The Conservation of Archaeological Sites in the Mediterranean Region: An International Conference Organized by the Getty Conservation Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum. 6-12 May, 1995 (1997), Professor Sullivan's research at the GCI will focus on the identification and understanding of those factors critical to ensuring that a site is well managed.
In residence from August-October 2001

Eugenio Yunis, a Chilean, is head of the Sustainable Development group at the World Tourism Organization in Madrid where he works on the application of sustainable development principles to the tourism sector, with special consideration to the natural and cultural heritage. His notable publications include the 1996 book Prospects for Tourism in South America, and a forthcoming article titled "Tourism Sustainability and Market Competitivenes in the Coastal Areas and Islands of the Mediterranean," to be published this year in the British journal Sustainable Travel and Tourism. While at the Getty, he will pursue research on the economic and cultural dimensions of tourism and heritage conservation, investigating how tourism can better contribute to enhancing the value of the conservation of cultural sites, buildings and monuments, and studying the relationship between tourism and the conservation of cultural heritage.
In residence from September-November 2000

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