The goal during the symposium was to promote an informal discussion between these professional groups in the hop that the resulting dialogue will help support and preserve the continued development of this traditional form. In addition, the aim is to assist in better understanding the best methods to conserve, preserve and present both historic and contemporary Native American wooden carvings.
A 2-day symposium was held and we organized a call-for-papers. Presentations were given on conservation and care practices from diverse points of view; Native and non-Native. The presentation topics guided the conservation throughout the conference. The topics of discussion were:
- Large carvings and current conservation practices in Native and non-Native museums.
- The meaning of these carvings for contemporary carvers and how carvers might participate in their conservation and curation.
- Looking forward to the future-finding balance between technical and non-technical approaches to the use and care of monumental Native American wooden carvings.
- How can museums and conservation nurture contemporary carving activities?
- How can we define “best practices” in Native American museum collections?