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Recent Efforts in Conserving 20th-Century Heritage:
The Getty Conservation Institute’s Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative

Susan MacDonald a*, Sheridan Burke b, Sara Lardinois a, and Chandler McCoy a

a The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, United States
b Robert A Moore Pty Ltd Architects and Heritage Consultants, Sydney, Australia

* Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT  Over the last 25 years the conservation of 20th-century heritage has developed into a distinct area ofpractice, catalysed by the efforts of dedicated international and local interest groups and the forward thinking of a number of government and inter-government organisations who identified, protected and developed approaches to its care. Much has been achieved, but more work is needed to address many of the distinct challenges to conserving the heritage of the 20th century. In 2011, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) launched its Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI), which seeks to respond to the outstanding current challenges and contribute to advancing practice in this emerging area of conservation. It began with a survey of the field to identify where existing efforts could be best supported and enhanced, or where knowledge gaps could be potentially filled. In response the GCI built a comprehensive program to meet these identified needs and five years later, a number of activities and projects are underway. These include a series of publications, a training program, historic and technical research and two field projects at Louis Kahn’s Salk Biological Institute (1965) and the house of Ray and Charles Eames (1949), both in California. This paper outlines current GCI efforts, reports on initial outcomes and describes forthcoming activities.

KEYWORDS  20th-century heritage, Getty Conservation Institute, historic thematic framework, Salk Biological Institute, Eames House, conserving modern heritage

Received April 17, 2017; accepted June 3, 2018.

Updated on July 2, 2018.

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