ICOM-CC/Getty International Program participants.
Kathleen Dardes
Kathleen Dardes

The ICOM-CC Anniversary Triennial Lecture

In the past, the ICOM-CC Triennial Lecture has taken place on the last day, Friday afternoon, of the Triennial Conference. This year, we have decided to open the 50th Triennial Conference on Monday 4th September with an anniversary ICOM-CC Triennial Lecture addressing the conference theme “Linking Past and Future”. The Triennial Lecture will be given by Kathleen Dardes, Head of the Collections department at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Kathleen Dardes is a long-standing and highly respected member of ICOM-CC and was selected for this honour because of her expertise and dedication to the conservation fields and her passion for the profession. Kathleen has broad experience that crosses many conservation lines, ranging from textile conservation to collection management, environmental issues and education and training. Her dedication to and involvement with ICOM-CC includes two triennia as Working Group Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator and one triennium as a member of the Directory Board.  We are convinced that the lecture will inspire as well as entertain and evoke images from early years of ICOM-CC and draw perspectives into the future.

Kathleen Dardes is head of the Getty Conservation Institute’s Collections department where she manages the Institute’s education projects for movable cultural heritage, including courses, workshops and in-the-field training activities that take place within the United States and internationally; she also oversees the GCI's Information Center. With colleagues in Science, the department also undertakes field activities to adapt and test new research and practical methodologies for collections. Kathleen has worked at the Getty Conservation Institute since 1988, first in the Training Program, then in Field Projects before taking on the leadership of Education (precursor to the Collections department) in 2007. She studied textile conservation in the Textile Conservation Centre/ Courtauld Institute of Art postgraduate program, receiving her diploma from the University of London. Prior to her arrival at the Getty, she worked as a textile conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


Lecture Title: The Definition of the Profession Reimagined:  How ICOM-CC’s history can inspire its future

The speaker will provide some brief historical background on the early decades of ICOM-CC, including its seminal document ‘The Conservator-Restorer: A Definition of the Profession’ and its contribution to our concept of our profession. The changes that have occurred within the field over the last fifty years invite consideration of conservation’s broadening professional landscape, its increased engagement with the public, and with its response to climate change which will have a major impact on the practice of conservation.  The profession’s younger generation of leaders will need to take on these and other challenges with the vision and leadership that characterized ICOM-CC’s founding generation and, in the process, fashion an expanded definition for conservation in the 21st century.