The ICOM-ITC April 2019 Training Workshop was organized at the Palace Museum in Beijing from April 9 to 18. As its 12th workshop in Beijing, the ICOM-ITC recruited a total of 28 participants: 12 Chinese participants from 12 institutions in 10 provinces and 16 international participants from 15 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. This is also the first time for the ICOM-ITC to welcome participants from Russia and Belgium.
Centering on the theme “The Challenges of Museum Collections Today”, eight experts from home and abroad gave lectures on varied topics, including collection management, documentation, conservation and controversies in collecting based on their practices and experience.
Mr. Guan Qiang, Deputy Director of State Administration of Cultural Heritage, introduced the practices and situation of Chinese museum management, as well as the challenges in collection management. Dr. Shan Jixiang, former Director of the Palace Museum, presented the general information of collections housed in the Palace Museum, which gave participants a full sense of the vastness, depth and preciousness of its culture. Mr. Lou Wei, Deputy Director of the Palace Museum, summarized the provenance of the Museum's collection, and the work it has done in collection documentation and management.
Chinese experts give lectures at the workshop
Dr. Richard Kremer, the Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College, shared his opinions on “collection strategies”, and provided quite a few suggestions on collection management. Mr. Gabriel Bevilacqua, Collection Manager of Institute Moreira Salles, presented standards related to collection documentation, and pointed out the significance of implementing the collection processing lifecycle. Ms. Kriste Sibul, Director of Preservation and Photography of National Museum, explained in detail the risks in collection conservation and utilization.
International experts give lectures at the workshop
The session “Giving Great Presentations” was jointly delivered by Mr. Claude Faubert, Coordinator of ICOM-ITC, and Dr. Guo Meixia, Deputy Director of the Department of Publicity and Education of the Palace Museum. The two experts worked together and shared many skills in terms of presentation structure, key points, time control, etc. The participants were encouraged to give presentations in practice under the guidance of the experts to show their acquired skills.
Giving Great Presentations
Reading Artifacts, one of the classic sessions of the workshop, was given by Richard Kremer and Claude Faubert. This session chose 7 objects, including child-shaped pillow of Ding kiln, gold filigree sachet, window lattice, ridge figures, threading plates, cloisonne bottle and porcelain cups with flower designs of twelve months, all of which are cultural products or tools for educational programmes. After carefully observing these objects, the participants recorded their size, color, crafts and other information, and told their stories in a vivid and interesting way.
“Mini-Workshop” was jointly delivered by four international experts, in which participants discussed with them the doubts at training and challenges at work, shared their opinions and gains. This session allowed experts and participants to talk face to face about some more pertinent and practical issues.
To better know about each other, a “Show and Tell” session was organized before the workshop, in which participants were encouraged to present themselves. Belgian participants Clemence and Chinese participant Lin Suhan volunteered to act as moderators of the session. They communicated actively with the Coordinator of the ICOM-ITC Claude Faubert before the start of the session, showing an earnest attitude and good capacity for organizing. In the session, participants, one by one, introduced the regional features and representative cuisine of their country or region, as well as their interests, which effectively closed the distance between them and enhances the interest and interactivity of the first meeting.
Show and Tell
This workshop owes its success to the concerted collaboration of the Palace Museum, ICOM and ICOM China. In the future, the ICOM-ITC will continue to prove itself as an effective international platform for exchanges among museum professionals, and equip them with advanced museum knowledge and information, thus to promote museum development around the world.