When Mark Gottsegen, a well-known educator and expert in artist materials, passed away in the Fall of 2013, an unbelievable amount was lost. Not least among them was AMIEN, the much beloved discussion forum on art materials that he founded. For Mark, AMIEN was his dream. It was from this desire to educate and to provide real information to the arts community that this independent artist resource was created. When his death was announced, and later the website was closed down, we commented that his passion and leadership could not be replaced, but that we looked forward to finding a new independent home for this remarkable service for all artists that care about their work.
The AMIEN Board, including Robert Gamblin and myself tried for several years to see if an educational institution, museum or conservation program might be willing to take on this important work. In conversations with Debra Hess Norris, Chair of the Department of Art Conservation of the University of Delaware, we hoped that Brian Baade, Assistant Professor at UD and his partner, Kristin DeGhetaldi, MA in Conservation and PhD in Preservation Studies might be willing to take on this effort, especially after seeing the attractive site they developed for art conservators through auspices of UD and the Kress Foundation: https://www.artcons.udel.edu/outreach/kress/. Kristin and Brian were certainly aware of the value this resource could be for artists and agreed to both create and moderate the site with the support of the University. We suggested we would help seek funding from members of our arts materials industry, including manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
We are delighted to announce the launch of this new resource for artists developed under the auspices of the Department of Art Conservation at the University of Delaware, MITRA –which stands for Materials Information and Technical Resources for Artists. Kristin spent the summer developing the format for the site and she and Brian have spent countless hours creating a FAQ for the launch. This independent online forum and website provides information and education on art materials and techniques to practicing artists and educators around the world. The site will share both best practices and cutting-edge scientific research, while an important aspect of the forum will be its absolute objectivity. You can locate the discussion forums, as well as a wealth of support materials, here:
While MITRA has taken the late Mark Gottsegen’s AMIEN forum as its inspiration, it has also expanded it in scope. It will cover subjects as traditional as oil paint, gilding, and watercolors, as well as more modern, experimental art materials. Brian and Kristin have pulled together an impressive list of experts in the fields of art materials, art conservation, and materials science to serve as website moderators and informational resources.
GOLDEN was always deeply involved and supportive of AMIEN, and likewise we are proud to be equally involved as MITRA takes shape. We are also especially proud that so many members of our arts material industry have stood together to help provide the support in conjunction with the University of Delaware to make this possible, including: Blick Art Materials, Derivan Pty Ltd, Jerry’s Artarama, MacPherson’s, Royal Talens, Ampersand Art Supply, ARCH Drafting Supplies, Art Spectrum, C2F, Fredrix Artist Canvas, Gamblin Artist Colors Co., Grafix, Grimstad Comerford Group, Hyatt’s –All Things Creative, OPUS Framing and Art Supplies, Plaza Artist Materials, R&F Handmade Paints, Artisan, Binders Art Supplies & Frames, Dakota Art Store, and Lenz Arts, Inc.
We look forward to helping make this a valuable resource for all and encourage you to participate in the conversations that take place there.