Paul Messier's background in the field of photography and paper conservation combines academic and apprenticeship training with extensive treatment experience. He received an
A.B. in art history from Vassar College in 1984 and an M.A. and
C.A.S. in the conservation of works of art on paper from the State University College at Buffalo in 1990. From 1986 to 1990, Mr. Messier worked as an apprentice in photographic materials conservation in New York City and undertook an advanced internship in Paris.
Mr. Messier founded his private conservation studio in 1994. The
current and sustaining focus of this practice is the conservation
of photographic materials. Areas of specialization and research
include treatment, consulting on collection management and
dating 20th century photographs through empirical testing. In
addition, he teaches photography conservation, through on-site
lectures, videoconference and the web, as adjunct faculty to the graduate art conservation
program at Buffalo.
Mr. Messier is involved in issues pertaining to the preservation of electronic media. In 1996, he was an invited speaker at Playback, '96, a conference dedicated exclusively to video preservation. He was a primary organizer of TechArcheology, a project that brought artists, curators and conservators together to discuss the preservation challenges inherent in specific works of installation art. The project was funded through a grant from the Getty Grant Program.
He is the founder of the newly formed Electronic Media Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation and served as program chair for the American Institute for Conservation's year 2000 meeting in Philadelphia. He has been selected to review grant proposals for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum Services. From time to time he serves as a peer reviewer for articles submitted to the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
(JAIC) on issues pertaining to the conservation of photographs and electronic media. He serves as JAIC Associate Editor for Electronic Materials preservation.
He is a professional associate member of the American Institute for Conservation and a founding member of Boston Art Conservation, a partnership of professional conservators, which provides conservation services for public and private clients in metropolitan Boston and throughout the United States.
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