Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor
In Conservation and Technical Studies

Thanks to a generous anonymous donation, a new visiting professorship in conservation and technical studies was inaugurated in Fall 2012. The Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor in Conservation is named in honor of the donor’s grandmother.  Inspired by the Kirk Varnedoe Memorial Professorship, this visiting position will be awarded to a prominent conservator or scientist who can bring to our program new areas for research and teaching.  The Praska Professor will be invited for a semester to the Institute of Fine Arts to teach in his or her area of specialty, particularly in courses designed for both conservation and art history students.  The Professor will also give one public lecture on his or her research at the IFA.  The professorship will run for four years through spring 2016.

The Institute of Fine Arts is pleased to welcome Alan Phenix and Julie Wolfe in a dual appointment as the 2013 – 2014 Judith Praska Visiting Professors in Conservation and Technical Studies. They will be in residence in spring 2014. Alan will offer both a seminar and a laboratory course on paint, coatings and solvents, and Julie will teach a seminar in the conservation of public art that will be open to both conservation and art history students.

An internationally recognized paintings conservator, conservation educator and conservation scientist, Alan Phenix serves as Scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, working with the Collections Research Laboratory and the Modern & Contemporary Art Research Group His current work focuses on the analysis of painting materials and the study of artists’ techniques from before the Renaissance through the late twentieth century. Prior to joining the Getty, Alan began his career as a paintings conservator at the Tate Gallery. He was Lecturer in the Department of Conservation & Technology at the Courtauld Institute of Art from 1991 to 2000, during which time he also spent 15 months on secondment to the MOLART research project managed by the FOM Institute for Atomic & Molecular Physics, Amsterdam.  He has also served as Research Fellow at the Royal College of Art, London, and as Associate Professor in Conservation at the University of Oslo, and was Senior Lecturer in Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Julie Wolfe, Associate Conservator in Decorative Arts and Sculpture Conservation at The J. Paul Getty Museum is a recognized expert in the conservation of public art. Early in her career at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Massachusetts she researched and treated outdoor sculpture for a consortium of art institutions affiliated with the regional center. Subsequently, she worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where a major research project involved structural adhesives for deteriorated rubber for the treatment of works by Richard Serra. Since joining the J. Paul Getty Museum in 2000, she has taken a leadership role in planning for the long-term stewardship of the outdoor sculpture collection acquired from the Ray Stark Revocable Trust and has co-authored “Conserving Outdoor Sculpture: The Stark Collection at the Getty Center” (2010). Over the past five years her research has focused on the painted outdoor sculpture of Roy Lichtenstein.