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Icon ACR Conference 2019: Collaborative Working

Icon ACR Conference 2019

The Annual ACR Conference is taking place in London on 22nd November. It is only open to Icon's Accredited Members and is specifically designed to inspire them in their professional development. 

This years' conference will be addressing the theme of collaborative working int he conservation. Chaired by Sandra Smith ACR, speakers from inside and outside of the profession will discuss how conservators work with other conservators, other professionals, clients or even members of the public to shape the development of projects as well as their own professional development. 


Speaker biographies



The programme is in currently being finalised; however current highlights include:

Advocacy, identifying opportunities for collaborative working

Cross disciplinarity in Conservation
Dr Renata Peters, Associate Professor in Conservation, UCL
Regardless of specialism, the conservation process today can be described as a cross-disciplinary and recursive. This talk will draw on archaeology, ethnography, contemporary art and cross-disciplinary teaching to explore implications of cross-disciplinarity for conservation thinking, practice and training.

Excellence, best practice in collaborative working.

Exteter cathedral medieval stained glass
Steve Clare ACR, Director, Holywell Glass
In 2018, as part of the cathedral's medium and long term conservation planning, architect Camilla Findlay commissioned Steve Clare to carry out a full condition survey of all of the stained glass in the cathedral. The Clerk of Works Chris Sampson, and cathedral archaeologist John Allan gave generous assistance to the survey process.  Steve will discuss his experiences of working as part of this collaborative project and how he brought in additional expertise to contribute towards this important project.

  • Natalie Brown, The National Archives

Engagement, working with those outside of the conservation profession.

Developing a sector-wide toolkit for workforce research
Anni Mäntyniemi, Policy & Communications Manager, Icon
​Stephen O'Reilly, Director, Loud Marketing 

Throughout 2019, Icon has been working with Loud Marketing, the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and Historic England to develop a Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) toolkit that will enable the collection, analysis and reporting of LMI within the heritage sector. The project aims to empower heritage organisations with a mechanism to independently conduct workforce research on a regular basis and to provide data that can be cross-referenced and compared across different subsectors.

Anni and Stephen will present the results of the project and outline the central role collaborative working played in delivering a toolkit that is relevant and accessible to all bodies and organisations wishing to survey the heritage workforce.

Integrating Refugees into a Conservation Volunteer Team
Dr Christian Baars, Senior Preventive Conservator, National Museum Wales
In 2016 National Museum Cardiff broke new ground when the first refugee was integrated into its Preventive Conservation volunteer team. The team had only been set up one year previously and had recently started operating in galleries during opening hours with the intention of increasing public engagement with conservation activities. The introduction of a refugee from Eritrea was undertaken with careful planning and only after preparing both the refugee and the volunteer team. Taking time to plan this process paid off, because integration was almost seamless and had positive impacts on the refugee, the volunteer team and the museum. The volunteer team operated as before the introduction and continued to make important contributions to the care of collections in stores and public galleries. The refugee had his asylum claim approved and eventually moved on into paid work.

Quick fire presentations 

Do you want to do a PechaKucha? 20 slides for 20 seconds each (which are timed to keep you on track!). You can discuss anything you want to, be it a recent project you've worked on, engaging the local community or even a reflection on something you have done to support your professional development. Its a great opportunity to promote your work and share your experiences with other members.  If you're interested in taking part please indicate when you book, there will also be an opportunity to put yourself forward later too. 

Speaker biographies

Dr Christian Baars ACR, Senior Preventive Conservator, National Museum Wales
christian.jpgDr Christian Baars AMA ACR is the Senior Preventive Conservator at National Museum Cardiff. He worked as a palaeontological preparator before managing a programme of collection reviews in 18 Welsh museums to improve the use, visibility and conservation of collections. He has been coordinating the care of three million objects across five collection disciplines at National Museum Cardiff since 2014. Christian is Treasurer of the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries in Wales, and a member of the ICOM UK committee where he represents international aspects of the conservation profession. His interests lie in using multidisciplinary scientific enquiry to develop improvements for the care of museum collections, and in enhancing the public profile of heritage preservation.

Steve Clare ACR, Director, Holywell Glass
dsc02841_0.jpgSteve Clare is stained glass conservator by Royal Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen. He is an Icon ACR accredited conservator, and national Stained Glass Adviser to the National Trust. Steve founded Holy Well Glass in 1995 after training at The Glasshouse in Fulham, and a decade working with Alfred Fisher at Chapel Studio. In a long career, he has supervised major projects at the cathedrals at Wells, Winchester and Exeter, and at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle as well as numerous parish churches, Steve has acted as consultant to some of the most significant buildings in England, including King's College Chapel at Cambridge. Holy Well Glass Limited, and Holy Well Design operate from a remarkable medieval water mill in the beautiful city of Wells in Somerset, with a large staff working on historic glass conservation and contemporary work, including collaborating with contemporary artists in the realisation of their creative works in glass.

Anni Mäntyniemi, Policy & Communications Manager, Icon
anni.jpgAnni is the Policy and Communications Manager at Icon. She works closely with the Chief Executive to enhance Icon’s advocacy capacity and to influence the policies of governments, NGOs and other voluntary and professional bodies. In her role as Project Manager, she oversaw the day-to-day operation of developing the LMI Toolkit. Before joining Icon, Anni worked as a current affairs officer at the US Embassy in London, specializing in Northern European politics. She has four years of curatorial experience, having worked in various research roles at Historic Royal Palaces. Anni has a BA in Art History from the University of Sussex and an MA in the Principles of Conservation from UCL

Dr Renata Peters, Associate Professor in Conservation, Institute of Archaeology, University College London
renata.jpgDr. Renata F. Peters runs the MA Principles of Conservation at UCL, where she has been working since 2005. She is an object conservator with a background in Fine Art and a keen interest in conservation decision-making, especially in how the interactions between manufacturing techniques, raw materials, uses and values associated with objects affect conservation approaches. Renata has worked with different kinds of collections in South and North America, Europe and Africa. Her research focuses on collections originating from indigenous nations from the Americas, but she also has extensive experience with archaeological conservation.  Currently, she is the conservation lead of a cross-disciplinary project in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.


The ACR Conference is taking place at the Institute of Historical Research in the heart of Bloomsbury.

Institute of Historical Research
School of Advanced Study,
Senate House,
Malet Street,


Tickets are on sale for £80. This includes lunch and refreshments.