Conservation of Contemporary Art

In 2017, a pilot survey of contemporary art collections in Argentinian museums was carried out by ICCROM, in collaboration with the Argentinian Ministry of Culture (Dirección Nacional de Bienes y Sitios Culturales – DNBSC).  This survey forms the basis of ICCROM's 2020/2021 agenda to assess needs and improve the conservation and management of contemporary art collections at the regional level in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The results of the pilot survey were shared with the Argentinian professional community at the 2017 meeting of the series of annual gatherings organized by DNBSC on contemporary art conservation issues, which focused on 'Registration, Documentation and Conservation of Contemporary Art', under the patronage of ICCROM.  It was held from 2 – 4 September 2019 at the National Museum of Fine Arts (Auditorio Asociación de Amigos del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – MNBA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The event was organized by the Argentinian National Directorate of Heritage and Sites (Dirección Nacional de Bienes y Sitios Culturales, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura, Ciencia y Tecnología), together with Programa ACERCA-AECID (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación) of Spain, the Cultural Council of the Spanish Embassy in Argentina, and the National Museum of Fine Arts.  The meeting addressed issues such as integrating perspectives on collections’ registration and conservation of contemporary art collections, and on dialogue with the artist as a tool for registration and conservation.

More than 173 attendees from 68 institutions listened to 35 national and international specialists at the event.  The keynote speakers were: Cristina Mulinas (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno), Nieves Valentín (Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España – IPCE), Suzan de Groot (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands – RCE), and Tom Learner and Rachel Rivenc (Getty Conservation Institute).  Three workshops were also held at the meeting on the following topics:

  • “Registration of contemporary art: case studies” (Cristina Mulinas)
  • “Technologies for the control of insects and microorganisms. Conventional and combined methods of anoxia with essential oils. Risk assessment with biosensors” (Nieves Valentín)
  • “Identification of plastics” (Suzan de Groot)

The next Meeting on the Registration and Conservation of Contemporary Art is to be organised on 5-7 October 2020.