FAIC interviews added to the website

Karen's centenary
FAIC interviews added to the website
May 6, 2021 • By Katrina Finch0 comments

It was just by chance in 2017 that I came across a reference to the Oral History Project of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC) in an issue of the IIC’s (International Institute for Conservation) journal. It mentioned undertaking an oral history with Karen. Dr Joyce Hill Stoner was mentioned as leading the project.

With remarkable efficiency and kindness, we were provided with the transcript and audio file as well as given permission to publish both on Karen’s website with all the requisite copyright details. We were also put in contact with Vicki Cassman who interviewed Karen thirty years ago at the TCC in Hampton Court Palace while an intern between 1984-5. Vicki wrote to us saying that the interview “brought back lots of great memories from the TCC and of course Karen!”

Vicki Cassman

It was wonderful bridging that gap of thirty years and experiencing for ourselves the international fellowship of the conservation world. The interview covers a lot of ground from the personal to the professional. In particular Karen explores the issues around using adhesives in textiles conservation. Vicki comments on her honesty. We found out that Karen had helped to fill in some of the gaps in the transcription and had also added some information that wasn’t in the recording. However the corrections were incomplete and I asked permission to improve it – which I was kindly given. We promised to provide the FAIC with the finished product which we are now publishing in the Interviews section. We have distinguished between what was said and what Karen added.

Sadly we have recently discovered that Professor Emerita Vicki Cassman died last year – she was only 63.

We encourage you to read the moving obituary which appears on the University of Delaware website. Clearly a most remarkable, talented and much loved person.

Katrina Finch