WAG Rag - December 2023 Edition

By Catherine Silverman posted 12-11-2023 13:14


Welcome to the first edition of the WAG Rag, a hopefully somewhat regular digest from your friendly Chair, with help from the newly recruited WAG Rag assistant, Olav Bjornerud. I hope this will be a nice way to communicate with you all in a more timely and less formal way. As well as updating you on WAG initiatives, I’d love to share relevant events and resources, so if you’re involved in something you would like me to plug, or you see anything that you think could be interesting to WAG people – whether it’s an upcoming talk, a great article, or an interesting YouTube video, let me know! 

WAG events and Initiatives

  • Last month, WAG members voted overwhelmingly in favor (94%) of a $5000 donation to support “Making Space: Intro to Woodworking for Conservators,” a two-week program jointly organized by members of WAG and the Chairmaker’s Toolbox, and sponsored by North Bennet Street School. You can still read the proposal here. Emerging conservators – keep an eye out for the call for applications early next year!
  • WAG has budgeted for quarterly virtual events next year. Elly Davis has kindly volunteered to help with this, but we need ideas for topics and speakers. We will probably start with lectures, but it would be great to host some demos once we are in the swing. Send suggestions to

WAG Behind the Scenes

  • Our budget and justification were pulled together by our wonderful treasurer, Liz Peirce in September.
  • The WAG abstract review committee, led by Program Chair Sarah Towers, met in October and November to whittle down submissions to what promise to be two excellent sessions at next year’s Annual Meeting – one pure WAG, and one joint session with the Contemporary Art Network (CAN!)
  • I attended the AIC Internal Advisory Group (IAG) yearly meeting on Friday. Maybe I’ll include a little summary in the next edition.  

Events Round-Up – US

The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (in person)

Watch the ongoing treatment of James Hampton's The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly in a temporary conservation space on the museum’s first floor. 

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (in person)

Tlingit artist James Johnson and curator Andrew Hamilton discuss his work as an award-winning woodcarver and formline painter and how it informs his recent collaborations with Lib Tech snowboards and Vans.

New York, NY (in person). Registration open 

The Decorative Arts Trust dives into the hustle and bustle of New York’s Americana Week. Enjoy exclusive small tours with leaders in the field. Early registration encouraged. 

New York, NY (in-person)Registration open 

The Decorative Arts Trust hosts their 8th Annual Colloquium featuring young scholars in the decorative arts field.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (in-person)

Ten early career scholars from across Europe, the USA and UK will deliver papers on furniture, decorative arts and historic interiors from the 17th century to the 21st century.

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA (in-person & virtual)Registration open 

“Printed words and images: how did 18th century craftspeople turn them into actions and objects? How did craftspeople fill in the blanks left by what was unwritten or unillustrated? And how can the ink they left on paper inform our understanding of a past in which most craft knowledge was shared orally? Join tradespeople and scholars from Colonial Williamsburg and esteemed guest presenters as they explore woodworking by the book.” 

Register for this 5-day gilding conservation course led by Hubert Baija by March 31, 2024 for the “early bird” discount.

Events Round-up – International 

The Wallace Collection, London (in-person & virtual)Online registration open 

Curatorial Assistant Alexander Collins explores the development of multifunctional furniture in France during the 18th century, as well as the brilliant cabinetmakers who made it. 

Amsterdam (in-person) 

The symposium aims to explore conservation practices of religious and sacred objects and buildings, including the ethical considerations and the challenges met in relation to this practice. 

Application deadline January 28, 2024. There are scholarships available for the 16-day residential course. 

Calls for abstracts 

Archeology of Colour Symposium (April 17 & 18, 2024 online)Abstract submission deadline December 15, 2023 


Don’t forget to fill in the ICON upholstery survey, seeking to better understand upholstery training needs.

And finally, here’s a video about carving the Grinling Gibbons cravat.


Best wishes,


Cathy Silverman
WAG Chair