Founded in 1960, New York University’s Conservation Center at the Institute of Fine Arts was the first graduate level training program at a university in the United States. Its founding represented a fundamental and important shift in the field of art conservation training and would change the field forever. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Conservation Center will mark the occasion with a two-day series of events (conservation lab tours, lectures, alumni recollections, an evening reception, and an afternoon picnic) open to NYU alumni, donors, and faculty, on October 15 and 16, 2010.
“We are excited to be marking 50 years of excellence and celebrating the Conservation Center as the first graduate level training program to be offered at a university in the United States,” said Patricia Rubin, Judy & Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts. “The Conservation Center led the way 50 years ago and continues today as a leader in the field by providing our graduates with a unique advantage as they enter and progress through the professional world.
“In the Center’s comprehensive program our students not only receive specific training and coursework in conservation, but also complete the full requirements for a Masters in Art History. In addition, their knowledge and skills are reinforced with an immersive internship in their fourth-year. We believe that this complete approach offers our graduates the broadest experience and foundation to draw from and ultimately empowers them to pursue positions of influence and importance in their field.”
Today, the Conservation Center is one of only three U.S. programs offering comprehensive, graduate-level conservation training. The program has produced over 230 conservation professionals and over 60 percent of the graduates work in cultural settings, many of them in leadership positions.
The program is highly competitive and selective, and only eight students are accepted per year. For the 2010 entering class over 40 applications were received. Unique among graduate conservation programs, students are required to earn both an MA in Art History and an Advanced Certificate in Conservation. Students specialize in the conservation of paintings, objects (including sculpture and decorative arts), works on paper, photographs, archaeological/ethnographic materials, or Modern & Contemporary art.
The Conservation Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration weekend of activities is open to NYU alumni, donors, and faculty. Featured speakers will include Norbert S. Baer, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Conservation, IFA; Francesca G. Bewer, Research Curator at the Harvard Art Museum, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies; Margaret Holben Ellis, Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation, IFA; Michele Marincola, Sherman Fairchild Chairman of Professor of Conservation, IFA, Jean D. Portell, Conservator, Brooklyn, NY; Hannelore Roemich, Acting Chairman and Professor of Conservation Science, IFA, and Patricia Rubin.
A summary of events follows:
Friday, October 15
10:00 AM – Noon
Conservation Center Open House and Tours of Local Museum Labs: American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Morgan Library and Museum, and Museum of Modern Art.
1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
History of the Conservation Center Presentations, Faculty and Alumni Recollections at the Duke House
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Evening Reception at the Duke House
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Noon – 6:00 PM
Picnic at The Parsonage (Former Home of Larry Majewski), Wappingers Falls, NY
For a more information about the 50th Anniversary Celebration and a detailed list of the weekend’s events, visit http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/fineart/conservation/anniversary.htm