Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Apply for summer program in archeology and art conservation

What if you could spend your summer restoring ancient art and architecture in Italy—while enjoying the country’s beautiful scenery and fantastic cuisine?

That is the opportunity available through the Archaeological Conservation Institute (ACI), a unique month-long program offered by Randolph College’s classics department. For the past two summers, Randolph students interested in archaeology, art history, and classics have had hands-on experience with projects such as resetting ancient Roman mosaics.

This year’s program, from May 14 to June 12, will include the opportunity to excavate Sant’Imbenia, an ancient Phoenician port village on the Italian island of Sardinia. Applications are due Feb. 1, and you can download an application here.

Claire Sumner ’15 is excited to attend ACI for the second year in a row. “I think that if students have any interest in conservation or archaeology it is a great introduction to both fields. Plus, you get to explore Italy. What could be better?”

Randolph launched ACI in partnership with the Centro di Conservazione Archeologica (Center for Archaeological Conservation) and the renowned conservationist Roberto Nardi in 2011. Sumner, an art history and museum studies major from Bainbridge Island, Washington, decided to participate in ACI last summer after hearing a speech by Nardi.

Sumner said last year’s program included lectures as well as “lab work” that included excavation and restoration efforts. “From the lab work, I learned some of the more simple techniques for the conservation and restoration of art works,” Sumner said. “From the lectures, I learned Dottore Nardi’s philosophy on conservation and what a new generation of conservators could do to improve the field.”

The experience caused Sumner to consider making a career out of conservation and art restoration. She decided to apply to ACI again so she can talk more with Nardi and his staff about what how to reach that goal.

Susan Stevens, a classics professor at Randolph, said the program will allow students to gain experience with a wide variety of conservation principles, ranging from broadly applicable practices, such as video documentation, to techniques for specific restoration projects. “With the top-notch team of Italian conservators, archaeologists, trainees and their lab and field projects, ACI students participate in a fascinating profession,” she said.