Collaborate, learn, and network with your colleagues both in person and online. Attend our annual meeting, the largest conference in North America for conservation professionals.

Specialty Sessions

For anyone who missed the deadline and grace period not covered by the above message – we will take late submissions on a case-by-case basis. It is up to the review committee of the session(s) you are applying for if your late abstract will be reviewed. In general, the sooner you can submit your abstract the greater likelihood it will be reviewed. If you are unsure about whether to submit an abstract – please reach out to for more information.

Submit  Instructions

The following Specialty Sessions will accept abstracts on the meeting theme. Please return to this page as more sessions, including joint sessions, are announced.



Book and Paper

This year's Book and Paper programs is expected to include:

  • Session presentations
  • Programming during lunch sessions and pre or post-conference workshops.
  • Art on Paper Discussion Group (APDG) session
  • Library and Archives Conservation Discussion Group (LACDG) session
  • Wiki session
  • Evening Reception

Abstracts for session presentations may be related to the 2023 meeting theme, Conservation in the Age of Environmental, Social, and Economic Climate Change, or may address other aspects of the conservation of art on paper, archival materials, bound volumes, manuscripts, or similar materials. Abstracts are encouraged from anyone with an interest or role in conservation, including current BPG members, other Specialty Group members, and related professionals.

We also welcome proposals for panels or discussions on a theme. If you wish to propose a panel, please include the names of the proposed panelists in your abstract, with a brief description of the topic or perspective each panelist will address.  

AIC allows authors to prioritize three session types, including a preference for consideration to present your topic as a talk or as a poster. To be considered for the BPG specialty group sessions, please include "BPG" as one or more of your selections.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the BPG Abstract Selection Committee, composed of the BPG Program Chair, BPG Assistant Program Chair, and other BPG members selected to reflect a balance of expertise and specialties within our membership to the extent possible.

Please contact Morgan Browning, BPG Program Chair (, or Amy Hughes, BPG Assistant Program Chair (, with any questions.

Collection Care

The Collection Care Network is looking for papers that echo the theme of the concurrent general session by extending our conversations about neutrality, how we evaluate community sustainability, and how our collection care decisions and activities impact collection preservation. Current discussions about advancing goals relating to collection access, environmental, social, and financial sustainability require us to re-evaluate how what we do and the discussions we engage in directly impact our efforts to preserve collections.

This session will concentrate on how the evolution of what constitutes good stewardship is changing and developing in the face of environmental, social, and economic climate change. We are looking for papers that explore:

  • What collection care options minimize resource impact and how do we make these decisions?
  • How can we adopt to fluctuating economy and supply chain issues by using alternative solutions to help meet our organizational needs, communication venues, and materials choices?
  • When and what choices can we make to help protect sites and collections before and during emergency situations?
  • Why and how are collaborative efforts evaluated and effectively implemented as collection care solutions that minimize collection risk and enhance community engagement?

Contemporary Art

The Contemporary Art Network seeks proposals for a CAN! specialty session. Papers may examine the material, social, technical, philosophical, and legal considerations of contemporary art conservation.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Implementation of sustainable practices into contemporary art treatment
  • Preservation activities related to environmental, social, or economic change
  • Incorporation of activism into your conservation or everyday practice
  • Innovative treatments; collaboration with artists, studios, fabricators, artists’ estates, and other stakeholders; theoretical and ethical considerations; the ecosystem of contemporary art; and beyond...

CAN! welcomes abstracts from both in-person and virtual presenters. In the spirit of mutual learning, substantive works-in-progress and open questions are welcome and encouraged. Shorter presentation formats are possible. Salient proposals outside the scope of the meeting’s theme will also be considered for this session.

For another way to participate in CAN!’s sessions for the upcoming meeting, see calls-for-papers for the CAN!/EMG Joint Session.

Contemporary Art and Electronic Media Joint Session

The Contemporary Art Network (CAN!) and Electronic Media Group (EMG) are seeking proposals for a special joint session related to the following theme:

 “Rethinking accessibility”

In keeping with the Annual Meeting theme “Conservation in the Age of Environmental, Social, and Economic Climate Change”, the 2023 CAN!/EMG Joint Session seeks submissions that critically interrogate the ways in which the conservation of contemporary art intersects with the social and economic power structures that shape the history we steward. In what ways do we rationalize our tacit complicity in perpetuating systems of capitalism, social inequality, and environmental degradation? How might we act on the moral imperative to reconcile our ideals of preserving a “true” human story with the realities of the complex and very human global society of which we are a part? What potential alternatives to our existing methods and models of collecting and care might reduce this disjunct?

This year, we encourage papers reflecting on the general theme of accessibility. In a nutshell: do we have an ethical responsibility to leverage and redirect our finite time and resources, and if so, how might we achieve this? Examples include subjects such as:

  • Adapting installations due to equipment obsolescence, more accessible display, or other factors, and how this can necessitate a balance between artistic intention and practical considerations
  • How digital accessibility impacts our environment: from cloud storage to lithium mines, and electrical consumption to infrastructure design. How might we approach collection care infrastructure in a conscientious way?
  • Social, political, and environmental considerations: how to direct resources to support underrepresented groups
  • What role, if any, should artwork carbon footprints play in our acquisition, collection care, and loan policies?

Proposals related to contemporary art and electronic media outside the joint session theme will also be considered.

Please contact Sam Owens (CAN! Program Chair, and Diego Mellado (EMG Program Chair, with any questions.

Contemporary Art and Textiles Joint Session

The Textile Specialty Group (TSG) and the Contemporary Art Network (CAN!) seek proposals for a joint session on the topic of modern materials in textiles and fashion.  Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Conservation challenges and unique storage concerns due to modern or unconventional materials
  • Collaborations with living textile artists or costume designers on preservation strategies

  • Changing construction techniques due to the introduction of contemporary materials

Please contact Alison Castaneda, TSG Vice-Chair ( or Kira Eng-Wilmot, TSG Chair (, or Sam Owens (CAN! Program Chair) and Joy Bloser (CAN! Assistant Program Chair) at with any questions. 

Electronic Media




Objects and Paintings Joint Session: Tri-Dimensional Painted Surfaces

The world of painted surfaces sits at the intersection of multiple conservation specialties.  As such, those working in the liminal space of painted surfaces frequently encounter similar treatment, ethical, and philosophical concerns and pursue overlapping research questions. However, conversations on these topics often occur in parallel within individual specialty groups.  This session hopes to build a broader, more robust dialogue by encouraging members of both object and painting specialties to share their ideas and work with one another.  Specifically, we are seeking submissions related to innovative treatment materials and methodologies or research on tridimensional painted surfaces.  We welcome papers that talk about the triumphs and challenges of working on all things painted.

Possible topics might include: 

  • Projects where conservators trained in objects and paintings have worked in concert to treat the same artwork or suite of artworks. 
  • Treatments of materials that may not be explicitly categorized as “paintings” or “objects” such as carousel animals, ivory portrait miniatures or ancient paintings.
  • Technical analysis of colorants, binders, and their various degradation products, and the application of that analysis to treatment approaches.
  • Discussions of the history of making of tridimensional painted surfaces including artists engaged in multiple materials (painters, sculptors, architects, draftsmen, etc.).

Please note that accepted authors are expected to submit a written version of their presentation for publication in a joint OSG/PSG post-print following the Annual Meeting.

For questions or more information, please contact PSG Program Chair Irma Passeri ( and OSG Program Chair Madeleine Neiman (



Photographic Materials




Research & Technical Studies






Wooden Artifacts