Encompassing the broad arena of three-dimensional art and cultural heritage, objects conservation includes archaeological and ethnographic materials, costume accessories, sculpture, modern and contemporary art objects, and the decorative arts. Majors may train to become generalists, which allows them the most flexibility for future employment, or they may focus on a specific area or even material, such as stone, wood, metal, glass, enamels, or synthetics and modern materials. With New York City as a training ground, the opportunities to become knowledgeable about a type of material or a process are nearly endless. Work placement opportunities are especially rich for objects majors. Most students spend one or two summers at one of the Institute’s excavations in the Mediterranean, which provide a fast-paced introduction to problem solving and a way to hone treatment skills. One or two-week objects-based projects at Villa La Pietra include working on the sculpture collections (indoors and in the garden), the vast decorative arts collection, and the textiles and costumes collection. In addition, summer and semester-long projects in New York City or in a museum further afield are readily available.
Professionals from the City’s major art institutions and leading private studios serve as instructors and mentors to our students. In addition, Professor Marincola, an objects conservator with a specialty in sculpture, teaches courses each year focused on objects conservation. So, finding someone to help develop your interests is only a phone call away.