On April 16–17, 2007—prior to the annual conference of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)—over 150 participants gathered in Richmond, Virginia, for a preconference workshop entitled "Museum Exhibit Lighting 2007: Classic Issues, New Light." This workshop was presented by the GCI, the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), and the AIC.
The event had the features of a small conference, with plenary sessions on each of the two mornings, followed by breakout groups in the afternoon sessions. The plenary speakers were Christopher "Kit" Cuttle (retired from the University of Auckland), Carl Dirk (University of Texas at El Paso), Steven Hefferan (Hefferan Partnership Lighting Design), Paul Himmelstein (private conservator), Richard Kirschner (Shelburne Museum), Stefan Michalski (CCI), David Saunders (British Museum), and Paul Whitmore (Carnegie Mellon University). The breakout groups involved many of the same individuals, augmented by William Lull (Garrison/Lull Inc.) and James Druzik (GCI).
The workshop combined the traditional wisdom of preventive conservation, including risk assessment and thoughtful lighting design, with what the organizers saw as emerging tends in illumination and new research on conservation lighting. The response from those attending was that the meeting provided significant information on a subject of great interest, and that the quantity and richness of the material presented could have sustained an even longer workshop.
The GCI's involvement in the organization of the workshop is a reflection of its ongoing Museum Lighting project, which seeks to reduce damage to works of art on paper caused by museum lighting, through the reevaluation of current illumination guidelines, as well as the testing and design of new lighting.