Belgium, Antwerp

Ethnographic collections, preservation, research and conservation

when 24 August 2016 - 30 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 350

The summer school takes seven days, including a weekend. We will start by introducing and discussing the wider context of ethnographic artifacts, including questions concerning the (problematic) provenance and acquirement of these objects, their ‘ownership’ (in the broad sense of the word), the cultural thought frames within which these objects have been understood, etc. Following the introduction and preliminary discussion, the participants, starting from concrete examples of ethnographic objects (assembled and studied in advance by the course leaders and invited experts), will learn how to look for information about this specific kind of objects. Institutes collecting ethnographic objects are often confronted with shrinking budgets, a side effect of the ‘difficult’ position ethnographic objects find themselves in nowadays. Storage environment and materials, as well as mounting materials, will be discussed from this particular point of view.

Participants will also learn about the most relevant non-destructive research techniques and how to put these techniques to use. They will also acquire the skills necessary for reading, understanding and researching marks, combination of materials, different layers of dirt, coating(s), paintings, corrosion, pest damages, ... Following the reading and understanding of the objects, types of cleaning, gluing and consolidation will be presented, discussed and practiced. The goal is that each day students and an interdisciplinary panel of experts have discussions. Parallel to the activating lectures and workshops, the participants will work in parallel groups documenting the artifacts, using photographs, descriptions and diagrams, describing all research, conservation, used materials and products.

In the weekend excursions will be made to museum storages with ethnographic material and exhibitions with ethnographic displays.

Course leader

Prof. Dr. Carolina van der Star
Department of Conservation-Restoration
Faculty of Design Sciences
University of Antwerp

Target group

Students with at least a bachelor in Conversation Studies and professionals working in the field of conservation of ethnographic artifacts. Professionals without a relevant degree should have at least 2 full years of experience in the field of conservation of ethnographic artifacts.

Fee info

EUR 350: Student fee
Fee includes coffee breaks, transportation for weekend excursions, one group dinner and social activities. Does not include lunch or accommodation.
EUR 450: Professionals
Fee includes coffee breaks, transportation for weekend excursions, one group dinner and social activities. Does not include lunch or accommodation.