High Praise from the Getty and its "Art on the Rocks" Colloquium of
Rock Art Scholars
Shumla was honored to host the "Art on the Rocks" Colloquium organized by the Getty Conservation Institute at the end of last month.
The event was covered by Karen Gleason of the Del Rio News Herald. The content in this article is excerpted from her fantastic coverage published on July 5, 2018.
Rock art scholars and conservators from around the world visited major rock art sites in central Val Verde County Friday and Saturday, terming them "fantastic" and praising the ongoing work of the Shumla Archeological Research and Education Center.
"I didn't expect so many paintings, the quantity and the quality," said Pilar Fatás Monforte, who is director of the National Museum and Research Center of Altamira in Altamira, Spain, the site of some of Europe's oldest and best-known cave paintings.
The conference began at the Getty Institute on June 23 and included visits to several rock art sites in California. This was the third such conference organized by the Getty. The first conference was held in the Kakadu National Park in Australia in 2015, and the second was held in Namibia in 2017.
Thomas McClintock, of the Getty Conservation Institute, said the Getty has about 30 years of experience in promoting rock art preservation, noting the institute has published a paper titled, "Rock Art, A Cultural Treasure at Risk."
"That was sort of the foundational document for what we are doing now. That document sets out four pillars for effective preservation, incorporating all of the values of rock art. What we're doing here is discussing among a group of experts how best to promote the values of rock art to the public," McClintock said in Del Rio Sunday.
He said he believed the power of the assembled group lay in its diversity and in the backgrounds and expertise of those attending.
Dr. Carolyn Boyd, who joined the scholars as a colloquium member in L.A. and then led the group in their tours of the Lower Pecos said she was happy to show off the White Shaman Panel and the other local rock art sites.
"I was really, really honored to have the opportunity to share with them, these incredible scholars from all over the world, the precious rock art that we have here," Boyd said. "It's been really spectacular to introduce them, because for most of them, it's their first time to see the rock art here."
McClintock said the work being done by Shumla exemplifies a range of best practices.
"Everybody is just so impressed by their methods, their scope, their approach, their leadership, the enthusiasm, their educational element, their outreach and community involvement. There are just so many elements that are synthesized in Shumla," McClintock said.
You can imagine how proud and gratified we are by such an endorsement of our work by the highest authority in art and artifact conservation - The Getty! But we don't have time to get a big head, we've got work to do!