After almost a year and a half of fabulous events [that I sadly missed], I finally made it to a PACA meeting at the Barnes Foundation last week. It was great to see so many Philadelphia-area conservators that I already knew, and meet others that I didn’t know, all while enjoying some delicious snacks and drinks.
Having lived near the new site of the Barnes for almost three years, I feel like I’ve been very connected to the building and the collection’s move from Lower Merion, checking in on their progress every time I walked to Whole Foods or drove to school. Now I can finally say that I was able to tour the new paintings conservation lab! Even better than the tour was the panel of conservators (Barbara Buckley and Margaret Little), director and chief curator (Judith Dolkart), and registrar (Andrea Cakars), who discussed the logistics behind the collection’s move. It helps to have an involved board of trustees and a strong network of colleagues in other institutions. It was amazing to hear just how many people were involved in the work, and how smoothly the whole process happened despite all of the controversy surrounding the move!
In the end, everyone wanted the collection to be in a safe and accessible new home; not only is that true, but the space is also beautiful and Green, achieving the highest rating in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system by the U.S. Green Building Council. I still have to go back sometime to view the collection in the new building, but until then, I will happily enjoy the space from the outside.
Thanks, PACA, for organizing the event!