ICON (the Institute of Conservation) was created in 2005 by the merging of the following organisations: the Care of Collections Forum, the Institute of Paper Conservation (IPC), the Photographic Materials Conservation Group, the Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration (SSCR) and the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (UKIC). Convergence was fostered by the National Council for Conservation-Restoration, which has now been disbanded.
Icon is the UK’s leading voice for the conservation of our precious cultural heritage. They raise awareness of the cultural, social and economic value of caring for our heritage and champion high standards of conservation. They are charity with a subscribing membership. It brings together over three thousand individuals and organisations. Its membership embraces the wider conservation community, incorporating not only professional conservators in all disciplines, but all others who share a commitment to improving understanding of and access to our cultural heritage. You can read more about ICONs aims here.
We were pleased to welcome the ICON team to Knole for the day last week. They were keen to hear more about our Inspired by Knole conservation project and our work involving volunteers, such as the Knole Unwrapped projects. The day began with a short presentation from Siobhan, to set the scene with a brief run through of Knole’s history and an introduction to the project. Then we set off on a marathon tour.
After taking in the current show rooms, we ventured up in to the attics and some of the new spaces we’ll be opening up to visitors during the Inspired by Knole project. We finished up in our medieval barn that we are converting in to a conservation studio and store. Work hopefully starts very soon. We hope to be able conservation training opportunities in the conservation studio once it is up and running in 2016. The ICON website is a great resource for finding out more about conservation training opportunities.
It is through ICON that conservators can be assessed in professional practice to gain accredited status as Professional Accreditation of Conservator-Restorers (PACR). As ICONs website explains:
“Accredited status demonstrates that a practitioner is a fully-qualified and capable professional. The PACR accreditation framework applies a common standard across the profession, regardless of the route you have taken to reach a professional level of capability, your specialism, or the context in which you practice. ”
You don’t have to be a remedial conservator working with specific objects or materials, you can qualify as a preventive conservator, which Siobhan has done and I’m hoping to do in 2015. Find out more about the accreditation process here.
Siobhan and I had a great day showing the ICON team around Knole. It provided a great opportunity to share ideas and discuss our project work.