Arts Summit and Historical Archaeology?

this past monday was arts summit at the getty– a day-long quasi-conference of all the 121 interns supported by the getty (~$430,000 in support!) meeting together to explore professions in the arts by conversing in small groups with arts professionals. we had 5 sessions– i sat in on conversations with people working in historic preservation, curation, conservation, academia and media outreach respectively. i was most interested in conservation and academia, obviously– the two people in conservation were with the ucla/getty program and were interested in archaeology <3. i really wanted to go in depth with them about the options within that area of specialization, and about conservation on-site at an excavation. the women who was on the academia panel is a USC art history professor with a very nice accent. we spent time discussing the process of obtaining a Ph.D, the roads you can take afterward, etc… i still want to know about academic professions, like professorships and the process of gaining tenure. All these conversations about employment though were kind of daunting– no job security post-graduation, no good news about anything really. all mediocre news to bad news. damn this economy.

i met my “learning” community leader for the first time. he is… quite a find in the art world, as he has no undergraduate degree in anything. he somehow hustled his way up to the position where he is, and i have some respect for him. aside from his education, he was quite a character– very nice, and also very kooky. the others in my group are also quite a spread. one girl is from usc and is a fine arts major, and another has a sick internship on catalina island (HOUSING INCLUDED! if you have any idea about real estate, catalina is ridiculously expensive), and another was a chem major from amherst.

The majors represented by the general population of interns is pretty overwhelmingly art, architecture and related fields like urban planning and history of art/architecture. there wasn’t much talking going on, and a lot of us just sat there awkwardly before the sessions started, even though this is a networking event. Overall it was a relaxing day, even though I was pretty tired afterward.

Today I was analyzing some bronze mountings for the furniture conservator here and describing them and their conditions if there is anything outstanding…. And I found a lot of “crown C’s”! Back in the 1740s there was a tax on bronze, and all the bronze pieces that were created were stamped with C’s when the tax had been collected. Basically, this shows significant evidence that the clock that the mountings came from is a mismatch from the other pieces its displayed and was sold with! Hehe…

Also, I just visited Collections Reseach Lab run by the Getty Conservation Institute. Oh my god.. It was beautiful. XRF, XRD, X-ray, X-ray that is converted into CT scans! I was watching them CT scan a statue of St. John the Baptist and it was truly amazing how it’s converted (by freeware!) and then can be viewed like a 3D scan… But with x-ray vision! I work at the best place in the world… 🙂


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