Bruce Ford_Significance International Associate

Bruce Ford

Bruce Ford is a Canberra-based chemist and conservation scientist with Art & Archival Pty Ltd and researcher with the National Museum of Australia, both in Canberra. He works on museum based science and conservation policy issues as well as Indigenous rock art and site management. Bruce's work includes the application of the concepts of cultural heritage significance and risk - with which he was long familiar through the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter to rock art and site management - into lighting frameworks for cultural institutions. [1]

This has led to commissions at prominent international collecting organisations like the Tate Gallery in London, England, the National Galleries of Scotland, and the Guggenheim (art) Museum in New York, USA, in addition to Australia's leading national and state collecting organisations. Brucemonitoringrockart_Namadji2011

Bruce says:

Significance assessment provides essential context and establishes a common language for useful conservation initiatives based on scientific research in museums, right through from the planning to the implementation and evaluation stages. Early rock art and other immovable conservation programs in Australia and overseas attempted unsuccessfully to apply museums methods and values to this much less controllable and often wildly cross-cultural arena, but happily the flow has now reversed with museums recognising the strengths of significance based approaches such as the ICOMOS Burra Charter and bringing them back indoors for their own use.

For Significance International Bruce's work focuses on Indigenous rock art and site management, and collection / collecting organisation risk assessment.

In the past Bruce has taught conservation science at the University of Canberra and was Head of Conservation at the National Gallery of Australia. He has a B.Sc. Hons Chemistry from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, a Post Graduate Diploma (Conservation) from the University of Canberra,
and an M.A. (Museums and Collections) from the Australian National University.

Click here for more information about Bruce's work. 


At right: Monitoring rock art in Namadji National Park, Australian Alps, 2011
Bottom: Discussing rock art in Vanuatu, 2012

[1] B. Ford and N. Smith, 2011, The development of a significance-based lighting framework at the National Museum of Australia, Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material Bulletin, Vol 32, pp. 80-86.