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.

In Spring 2015, we will welcome Salvador Muñoz Viñas from Valencia, Spain. Salvador Muñoz Viñas is a Professor in the Universitat Politècnica de València and head of the paper conservation section of the university’s Conservation Institute. He holds two licenciaturas (five-year university degrees), in Fine Arts and Art History, and a PhD in Fine Arts. Along his career he has worked as a paper conservator in the Historical Library of the University of Valencia and as visiting scholar in Harvard University’s Straus Center for Conservation. He has lectured in different universities and centres (such as the Biblioteca Nacional de España, in Madrid, the British Museum, in London, Metropolia University, in Helsinki, or the ICCROM, in Rome). His research work revolves around both the theory of conservation and the technical aspects of paper conservation. He has published several books on these topics, such as The Technical Analysis of Renaissance Miniature Paintings (Cambridge, MA, 1995, coauthored with Eugene F. Farrell), La restauración del papel (Madrid, 2010) or Diccionario de materiales de la restauración (Madrid, 2014)). His Contemporary Theory of Conservation (Oxford, 2005) has been translated into several languages, such as Chinese, Persian or Italian, and has been said to represent “the most ambitious theoretical effort of the last 25 years” (C. Pesme, Studies in Conservation) and to “bring conservation into the 21st century” (C. Hucklesby, An Anthropology of Conservation).


2013 - 2014 Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professors: Alan Phenix and Julie Wolfe.

An internationally recognized paintings conservator, conservation educator and conservation scientist, Alan Phenix serves as Scientist at the Getty Conservation InstituteOpen link in new window, 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 MuseumOpen link in new window 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.

Fall 2012 Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor: Christine Frohnert
Christine Frohnert, Conservator of Contemporary Art, Modern Materials and Media, Bek & Frohnert LLC

Spring 2013 Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor: Carol Mancusi-Ungaro
Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Associate Director of Conservation and Research, Whitney Museum of American Art Open link in new windowand Founding Director of the Center for Technical Study of Modern ArtOpen link in new window at the Harvard Art Museums