Today’s speakers at the IMLS’s Connecting to Collections Forum in Buffalo, NY really got to the heart of the topic at hand, discussing ways in which conservation serves communities. The buzz words today were “win-win,” and examples abounded of mutually beneficial partnerships and networks, such as the Regional Alliance for Preservation (geared towards museum professionals), and the Nebraska PBS station’s “Saving Your Treasures” program and website, which has a wealth of good, general information.
Following the talks, we went to the Burchfield Penney Art Center and participants had an opportunity to talk one-on-one with the forum’s presenters. I’m happy to report that I got some great advice on strategies to address some of our own conservation needs. I also left the forum with a stack of useful handouts—and a snazzy tote bag in which to carry them—along with a much larger rolodex than I had last week.
After the planned activities, I tagged along with some of my new friends for a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex. With a major renovation project underway, and having just come from a forum on conservation, preservation, and restoration, I felt well primed to appreciate not only Wright’s design achievements, but also the tremendous yet rewarding efforts of the Martin House. After that, we toured a bit of the city and I was fortunate to have two of the best tour guides possible: Susana Tejada, Head of Research Resources at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and Lorna Peterson, Associate Professor in the Department of Library and Information Studies at Buffalo State College. Lorna, a Buffalo native as well as an astute historian, spoke about the city’s history with an ease that would make you think she’d lived here since its founding.
In addition to seeing some other architectural treasure like Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building, we made a brief trip to the Forest Lawn Cemetery. Millard Fillmore’s grave was impressive, but the highlight of the cemetery was definitely the tombstone of Rick James, Mr. Superfreak himself. There is an extremely goofy picture of me next to it striking a Rick James pose, but I can’t bring myself to post it. Maybe with a little prodding I could be persuaded to share.