Personal Statement

            With my graduation from university fast approaching and the start of my career on the horizon, I have taken the opportunity to see how far I have come in the last four years. I remember being petrified by the responsibility of preserving irreplaceable artifacts in my early internships. One such artifact was a Civil War era letter written by Arthur J. Ravenel, a member of the Confederate elite in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. The imposing bridge I crossed each day going to school bore his name. Quite unlike a sturdy bridge, the letter was in delicate condition: pest-eaten, torn along the creases, and burned by the elegant, iron-gaul-ink message inscribed on its surface. My hands trembled as I sat down at my desk in the conservation studio of the Charleston Library Society, about to put into practice what I had learned about tear mending with Japanese tissue. Now I balance the treatment of numerous items in the painting conservation studio of Winterthur Museum on a daily basis. Having overcome my initial apprehension in anticipation of a treatment, I have transformed my debilitating fear into a controlled caution and continual awareness of my surroundings. While I hope to carry this approach to conservation with me wherever the future takes me, I will never forget those who helped me along the way.

            

          The example set by the museum professionals and conservators I met early in my journey into art conservation were central to my decision to pursue a career as a paintings conservator. Thanks to their generosity and eagerness for me to contribute hands-on, I have acquired practical knowledge of preservation, developed my hand skills, gathered my confidence, and instilled the core values of conservation. But the most formative takeaway of my internships was the observation that my supervisors all shared one attribute, an attribute that I endeavor to emulate: passion for their work. I have obtained a clear vision of the ostensibly overworked but undeniably driven conservator that I want to be, a conservator who trembles with excitement rather than fear.

Institutions Where I Have Worked as an Intern
Winterthur Museum and Garden
Winterthur Museum and Garden

One of the foremost collections of American material culture surrounded by breathtaking gardens.

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The Charleston Museum
The Charleston Museum
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The Charleston Library Society
The Charleston Library Society
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One of the foremost collections of American material culture surrounded by breathtaking gardens. Affiliated with the University of Delaware, my internships doubled as coursework.

America's First Museum and where I completed my first  internship: archiving photographs and artwork in a public database. I also performed basic preventative conservation.

A private library founded by Charleston gentlemen in 1748. The resident book conservator, Brien Biedler, instructed me on book and paper conservation as well as book making.

One of the foremost collections of American material culture surrounded by breathtaking gardens. Affiliated with the University of Delaware, my internships doubled as coursework.

Conservators and Museum Professionals I have Worked with
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B_Baade-1460
B_Baade-1460
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Vicki Cassman
Vicki Cassman
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11143238_10153325283767028_6735571770971088447_n
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Roberto Nardi

Joyce Hill Stoner

Kristin deGhetaldi

Art Conservation Professor, Director of  WUDPAC Program

Project Leader at MITRA, Paintings Conservator

Founder of Centro di Conservazione Archeologica

Debbie Harper

Brien Beidler

Jennifer McCormick

Senior Curator of Education at Winterthur Museum

Director of Book Conservation,

The Charleston Library Society

Archivist and Collections Manager, Charleston Museum

Paper and Photograph Conservator, Member of AIC

Painting Conservator and Paintings Researcher at UD

Director of Undergraduate Art Conservation at UD

Marion Hunter Jr.

Vicki Cassman

Brian Baade

Taking On Challenges

      My most recent conservation undertaking is the treatment of a mid-twentieth century, painted wood and plaster diorama made for the American Negro Exposition of Chicago, also the subject of my senior thesis. Not only has this project challenged me to attempt new methods for cleaning and consolidating delicate surfaces, but it has forced me to hone my managerial skills in order to oversee a project of this scale. Nearly every detail of the diorama needs specialized attention, from the friable plaster waves to the miniature ship rigging executed in brittle thread.