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The annual 2019 Symposium of the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild was recently held in New Harmony, Indiana. The conference took place between November 8 and 10 at the New Harmony Inn & Conference Center.

Events included a dinner reception, talks, Q&A, business meeting, and tours of local cultural heritage sites. Conservators and museum professionals throughout the Midwest were in attendance from Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, and even as far as Colorado and Louisiana.

Christina L. Simms, Conservator of Objects and Sculpture, of McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory of Oberlin, Ohio also attended the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild 2019 Annual Symposium. She had an opportunity to present her project of the Restoration of the Henry Gassaway Davis Bronze in Charleston, West Virginia.

Conservator Christina L. Simms performs a repatination of a large-scale bronze sculpture in Charleston, West Virginia

The talk included brief information about 19th century West Virginian businessman and politician Henry Gassaway Davis and treatment procedure while focusing on concerns for an onsite conservation treatment of a large-scale bronze. You can read more about that project which was completed earlier this spring here.

Other talks discussed mounting techniques, equipment recommendations, conservation treatments books, paper, paintings, and composite objects, disaster recovery and response, conservation science, tools and techniques for UV-Visible Fluorescence documentation, and the navigation of museum politics.

Midwest Region Conservation Guild 2019
Talks were held at the New Harmony Inn & Conference Center

The Midwest Regional Conservation Guild is a professional conservation association in the Midwestern United States of America. It has been in existence since 1980, welcoming conservation and restoration professionals not only in the Midwestern but all over.

While it might be too late to attend the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild 2019 Annual Symposium, you can become a member on the website.

You can still, however, visit the town of New Harmony, Indiana. The region by the Wabash River was first settled by prehistoric mound builders and later American Indian tribes, but in 1814 preacher George Rapp and his followers settled the area. The town was sold to another faith-based reformer, Robert Owen, in 1825 who envisioned a utopian society.

Midwest Region Conservation Guild 2019
New Harmony, Indiana was started as a faith-based community in 1814

Despite initial turmoil, Owen’s children helped create a thriving pre-Civil War era cultural center. Many buildings from this time period remain as well as examples of modern architecture like the Atheneum by Richard Meier. Today the small town of New Harmony is an agrarian-based industry and tourist destination.

Midwest Region Conservation Guild 2019
Downtown New Harmony, Indiana in 2019
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