Shelburne Museum has been selected to receive the 2009 Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections. The national award, presented to just two museums this year, is determined by a panel of distinguished conservation experts from across the country and is presented jointly by Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic Artistic Works. The other recipient was Historic Cherry Hill in Albany, NY.
“We are honored to be recognized by our peers for our work in caring for the many and varied collections at Shelburne Museum,” said Rick Kerschner, director of preservation and conservation at Shelburne Museum. “The museum’s diverse collection coupled with the environmental challenges presented by Vermont’s climate make our work both challenging and rewarding.”
Eryl Wentworth, Executive Director of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, presents the 2009 Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections to Rick Kerschner, director of preservation and conservation at Shelburne Museum. The national award was presented on Friday, Sept. 25 and was awarded jointly by the Heritage Preservation. Pictured from left to right are: Stephan Jost, director; Nancie Ravenel, objects conservator; Rick Kerschner, director of preservation and conservation; Eryl Wentworth, executive director of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works; James Pizzagalli, chairman of the board of trustees; Michael Polemis, board member and chairman of the museum’s Collections Committee.
Shelburne Museum was selected for showing a sustained and exemplary commitment to preserving America’s heritage and for enriching the community by caring for its unique and varied collections through dedicated planning and effort. Those efforts include the gamut of collections care from innovative lighting to environmental control and security measures that allow the public safe access to artifacts.
“The committee was especially impressed by the museum’s creativity and innovative thinking in caring for such a unique and varied collection," said Eryl Wentworth, Executive Director of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. She also applauded the museum’s "long standing commitment to preserving its extraordinary collection.”
The Conservation Department was established in 1983. Shelburne was singled out for developing a plan for the museum’s unique collections that includes buildings, carriages, a lighthouse, a covered bridge and a steamboat. The museum was also recognized for enriching the field of conservation and collection care under the tutelage of Kerschner and Object Conservator Nancie Ravenel.
Over 25 years, 61 conservators have been trained at the museum. Public outreach through exhibits and fundraising programs, such as the Adopt a Carousel Animal program, have raised awareness of the museum and the importance of conservation.
The Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections has been presented annually since 1999. Previous recipients include Colonial Williamsburg and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
About Shelburne Museum: Located in Vermont's scenic Lake Champlain Valley, Shelburne Museum is one of the nation's finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum grounds.
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works is the national membership organization of professional conservators dedicated to preserving the art and historic artifacts of our cultural heritage for future generations. Heritage Preservation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our nation's heritage. Its members include museums, libraries, archives, and other organizations concerned with saving the past for the future.
Source: SHELBURNE, Vermont (Sept. 25, 2009) Shelburne Museum.
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