Glenn Wharton Named Chair of Conservation

Glenn Wharton, who recently joined the UCLA faculty as professor in the Department of Art History, has also been named Chair of the Interdepartmental Program (IDP) in Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials.  “His approach to conservation emphatically includes the interests and involvement of communities that live in, around, and with objects of art and architecture - an approach that fits seamlessly with the community focus that is an integral part of archaeology…” noted Willeke Wendrich, director of the Cotsen.

Wendrich also expressed her thanks to Prof. Bill Roy, who has been interim chair of the Conservation Program for the past two years and “has led the program with steady hand and a greatly appreciated presence.” Roy described Wharton as a “scholar, teacher, and leader of international renown…who both in his teaching and publications … seeks innovative ways of making heritage studies relevant to contemporary contexts.”

Wharton’s appointment “marks a new era for the IDP, including the inauguration of its PhD program, developed by Prof. Ioanna Kakoulli with contributions by Prof. Ellen Pearlstein, Dr. Christian Fisher and Vanessa Muros,” Roy added. Muros is now Director of the Archaeological Science and Experiments Lab at the Cotsen.

Wharton spent many seasons directing the conservation program at the Japanese Institute for Anatolian Archaeology. He comes to UCLA after 15 years on faculty of the Museum Studies Program at NYU where he taught seminars on the conservation of museum collections and managing contemporary art in museums. “These courses allowed me to work with graduate students across the university to analyze social, legal, and material dynamics of acquiring and managing contemporary art,” he explains on his website where he describes himself as an “art conservator and professor with a background in archaeological, sculpture, and time-based media conservation.”

“I look forward to helping an already terrific program reach new goals in the future,” Wharton told students and colleagues in his first e-mail after his appointment. During the few months prior to his official start at UCLA, he spoke with faculty, students, Cotsen staff, Getty staff, and many friends of the program. “I work best through good communication and collaboration,” he explained.