Video: Contemporary Art: Who Cares? Jill Sterrett on the role of the conservator (2010)

Posted on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 09:00
Jill Sterrett speaking at Contemporary Art: Who Cares?
Question and answer session moderated by Barbara Sommermeyer
Plenary lecture
In Years to Come
Jill Sterrett, Director of Collections and Conservation
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
artists, museums, contemporary art, conservation, roles
Conservators share with artists a vital interest and investment in knowledge of their materials and methods. And yet, sound conservation practice is predicated on clear delineations between the role of the artist as creator and the role of the conservator as steward. How were these roles established? How have they been viewed over time? And, how and why are they being either re-affirmed or recast, in the service of art, artists and museums? This talk will explore the relationship between artists and museums and the emerging role of conservation in the life of a contemporary work of art.
Jill Sterrett is Director of Collections & Conservation at SFMOMA, where she  has worked since 1990. Jill has also worked at the Fine Arts Museums of  San Francisco, Library of Congress, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and National Library of Australia. She is interested in how collecting and preserving contemporary art calls into question fundamental assumptions underlying traditions of fine art stewardship and she is committed to the vital collaborations between artists, curators, technical experts, registrars, and conservators that underpin contemporary art conservation practice. Jill has published and taught on the subject of museums, conservation and contemporary art, including as a Fulbright scholar in Portugal.