Salve Regina's Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program will host its annual conference Oct. 18-19. This year's theme is "Preservation and Memory." The conference will explore the complex relationship between the past and the present as it plays out in the preservation and interpretation of buildings, objects, monuments, and landscapes.
Why preservation and memory?
At its most fundamental level, preservation is about memory. Historic buildings, objects, monuments and landscapes are all materializations of the past, and the basic challenge facing preservationists and scholars is to protect and interpret the past – in the present. Memory, however, is not a basic thing. Like all human constructs, memory is gloriously and sometimes painfully complex, packed with a myriad of questions like "What or who is being remembered? How is the past physically materialized in 'things'? For whom were these things created? What meanings were these things given when they were first created? How have those embodied meanings changed over time?" Preservation encompasses an incredibly diverse set of practices; however, whether one is designing a new building to fit in an historic district, researching Civil War monuments or advocating to preserve a working-class neighborhood streetscape, one must engage with these questions.
Paul F. Miller will deliver the Richard A. Grills Keynote Address in Historic Preservation. The recent Frederick C. Williamson Professional Leadership Award recipient has decades of service to Newport as a curator and public scholar of decorative arts, historic architecture and social history.