Here at George Eastman House we are planning a farewell gala for Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director, for May 12 titled “An Evening in Technicolor.” He leaves Eastman House after 16 years at the helm. Over the next five days we will share highlights of the Museum’s amazing successes during his tenure.
At the top of the list are advancements in higher education, with one-year certificate programs and master’s degrees in film and photographic preservation, plus a decade-long fellowship program in photograph conservation.
1) The L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation
Dr. Paolo Cherchi Usai, Senior Curator of Motion Pictures:
I recall Tony hammering out details with me, Jeffrey Selznick, and Trustee Ted Curtis in 1996 about starting the school, which was to be the first of its kind in the world. We soon will celebrate the graduation of the 16th class. The program offers a master’s degree in conjunction with the University of Rochester, and archives around the world are staffed by Selznick School graduates, allowing for a connected network that benefits film preservation globally.
2) Photographic Preservation and Collections Management
Dr. Alison Nordström, Senior Curator of Photographs, Director of Exhibitions, and USA Director of the George Eastman House/Ryerson University MA in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management:
Eastman House has been training the next generation in the photographic field since 1947 and now more than ever there is a need for formal, high-level educational programs. To educate future leaders in the field, we established in 2003 a Master of Arts degree in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management with Toronto’s Ryerson University. This program, now also available as a one-year certificate program, is a comprehensive combination of practical and classroom experience, offering students access to renowned collections and faculty, as well as our library of photographica and conservation lab. Graduates of this program are working in archives and museums across the globe.
3) Photograph Conservation
Taina Meller, Head of the Kay R. Whitmore Conservation Center:
George Eastman House has been a major influence in photograph conservation education and research under Dr. Bannon’s leadership. From 1999 to 2009, the Advanced Residency Program, generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and offered in conjunction with RIT’s Image Permanence Institute, provided an extraordinary educational opportunity for almost 40 conservators from all over the world. Today, many of the historic processes previously taught as part of this fellowship program are taught in workshops throughout the year at Eastman House and at the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock , England. In recent years George Eastman House conservators have been called upon to conduct most challenging conservation treatments on iconic photographs. These include 1848 Daguerreotype Panorama of Cincinnati Waterfront, a significant collection of the first ever photographs of Manila, Philippines, and a glass interpositive of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Hesler portrait of 1860, Lincoln’s favorite – which arrived at the museum as shards of glass. An unprecedented series of grant awards supporting conservation have been hallmark achievements during Dr. Bannon’s tenure. These range from the NEA’s Save America’s Treasures grant to the inaugural award by the National Science Foundation, which we received collaboratively with the University of Rochester.
Tomorrow: We look at motion picture acquisitions, our library, and digitization of the collections
Dresden Engle is the Public Relations Manager for George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.
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