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Getty Announces 2001-02 Conservation Guest Scholars

October 9, 2001

Los Angeles--The Getty Conservation Institute announced today the names of the 2001-02 Conservation Guest Scholars who will be in residence at the Getty for periods of three to nine months. The Conservation Guest Scholars Program, now in its second year, provides an opportunity for individuals from conservation and related fields--including scientists, architects, cultural heritage professionals, and researchers--to engage in scholarly research.

Scholars are able to use the extensive resources and facilities of the Getty Conservation Institute, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the library and collections of the Getty Research Institute to pursue specific projects. The program complements the numerous other Getty research grants awarded by the Museum, the Research Institute, and the Grant Program.

The 2001-02 Conservation Guest Scholars and their projects are varied: Mary Brooks (Great Britain) will research methods to prevent the deterioration of textiles and fibers; Angel Cabeza (Chile) will establish a protection plan for Chilean archaeological monuments; Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper (Germany) will develop methods to identify and protect Berlin's most significant sites and landmarks; Catharina Groen (the Netherlands) will examine the historic use of a special pigment used in paintings from the 16th to 20 th centuries; and M. Isabel Kanan (Brazil) will develop a manual for use by conservators to conserve and restore lime-based materials in historic structures. Scholars' biographical information is below.

"We are delighted to host such a distinguished group of individuals this year and I hope that the resources of the Getty, and the time away from the demands of their regular jobs, will be of great value to them in their work and to the field," says Timothy P. Whalen, director of the Getty Conservation Institute. "The scholars, our colleagues, come to the Getty Conservation Institute with an amazing range of experience and knowledge. The benefit is mutual--what we learn from them while they are here also significantly enriches our own work."

The J. Paul Getty Trust, through the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Museum and the Getty Grant Program, provides support for professional research to outstanding scholars from around the world. The Conservation Institute's Guest Scholars Program seeks to encourage innovative thinking and research in areas of critical interest to the international conservation community, including historic sites, buildings, and works of art. Further information and application guidelines are available online at

October is National Arts and Humanities Month.

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The Getty Conservation Institute
Conservation Guest Scholars 2001-02

Mary M. Brooks
is the head of studies and research and a senior lecturer at the University of Southampton's Textile Conservation Centre. She was a joint winner of the International Institute for Conservation's first Keck Award for promoting public awareness of conservation through "Stop the Rot: An Exhibition of Museum Conservation" at the York Castle Museum in England. Ms. Brooks has achieved distinction through her research into the implications of manufacturing techniques, the application of new scientific analysis methods, and the use of object-based research in both identifying textile degradation processes and enriching art historical understanding of the contexts in which textiles have been created. Her research at the Getty will focus on regenerated protein fibers--developed and used in the first half of the 20th century as an attempt at replicating natural textiles--in order to enhance their recognition and develop more effective protocols for their conservation. (June-August 2002)

Angel E. Cabeza is an archaeologist, ethnohistorian, professor of cultural heritage conservation at the Universidad de Chile, and executive secretary of the Chilean Council of National Monuments. An internationally recognized authority on cultural and natural heritage conservation issues in Chile, he has worked to develop heritage management models in Chile that encourage the participation of local communities--especially indigenous ones--in the management of heritage. While at the Getty, he will work on a plan to protect archaeological monuments in Chile and research similar plans used in the United States, Canada, and Australia. (October-December 2001)

Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper is a conservator of historic buildings at the Historic Landmarks Preservation Office in Berlin. Widely published, her recent research interests have included a historical study of social housing in Berlin from 1900-1935 and postwar reconstruction of the remnants of German and Eastern European cities and monuments damaged in World War II. As a Conservation Guest Scholar, using her experience with post-wall Berlin, she will develop methods to identify and protect monuments of the recent past as sites of debate and possibly discord in contemporary society. In her work, Dr. Dolff-Bonekämper will reflect upon how the agency of historic buildings preservation in Berlin became itself an agent in social communication and political dispute. (November 2001 - January 2002)

Vasco Fassina is director of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage’s Scientific Laboratory in the Veneto region of Italy. A chemist, he is a widely published authority on the effects of atmospheric pollution on the degradation processes of mural paintings and stone, including marble, and has served as a co-director and coordinator of the UNESCO-ICCROM International Course on Stone Conservation. In addition, Dr. Fassina has contributed significantly to the conservation and preservation of the heritage of Venice, and is a former member of the architecture faculty at Venice University. His present research includes investigation into the performance of consolidant and protective compounds used in architecture historically and currently. His research at the GCI will focus on the study of materials and pictorial techniques used in wall paintings, with particular attention to the identification of the binding media used in the mural paintings of the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua, Italy. (November - December 2001)

Catharina M. Groen is a conservation scientist with the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage in Amsterdam. Long involved with the scientific examination of paintings and the training of painting conservators in Europe, her work at the Getty will focus on colored "double ground" (red with grey above), a type of preparatory layer often used in European canvas paintings during the 16th through early 20th centuries. A better knowledge of the history of its use should enable conservators and art historians to illuminate studio practices, explore possible art historical connections and influences, authenticate paintings, establish the chronology of different versions of paintings that depict the same image, and contribute to a database for paint cross-sections that could be consulted internationally. (January-April 2002)

M. Isabel Kanan is an architect at the Instituto do Patrimônio Historico e Artistico Nacional (IPHAN) in Florianópolis, Brazil, and a lecturer on architectural conservation at the Universidade do Vale do Itajaí in Santa Catarina, Brazil. Dr. Kanan--primarily through her publications and the development and activities of TERRACAL, an initiative of IPHAN--is involved in the architectural conservation training of university students, craftsmen, conservators, architects, and contractors. She also conducts research and provides technical advice and information on damaged or deteriorated architectural fabrics that require an understanding of historical lime and earth technologies. While at the Getty, she will develop a technical manual for the training of Brazilian conservation professionals and practitioners working with architectural lime materials in historic structures. (September 2001-June 2002)

Bertrand Lavédrine is director of the Centre de Recherches sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques (CRCDG) in Paris. The CRCDG, an initiative of the French Ministry of Culture and Communications, performs research into the conservation of graphic materials-including books, archives, drawings, photographs, motion pictures, and digitized media-and collaborates with conservators, curators and industry to help preserve this heritage. A chemist, Dr. Lavédrine is known for his scientific research into the deterioration mechanisms of photographic processes; his leadership in developing training opportunities for conservators and conservation scientists; his role as an advisor to French scientific laboratories; his involvement with international conservation groups; and for his work engaging the broader public in caring for photographic and archival collections. While in Los Angeles, Dr. Lavédrine will work on adapting the English translation of his well-received text on the preventive care of photographic collections and on the development of related training materials. (June-August 2002)

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