The Conservation Center at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts has announced it is the recipient of an $185,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and its Preservation and Access Division, which helps cultural institutions protect and preserve their collections. The two-year grant will be used for an education and training program in specialized instruction in the conservation of objects and is the third time the NEH has awarded funds to the program.
“We are very pleased and grateful, once again, for the support of the NEH in our Objects Conservation Program,” said Mariët Westermann, director of the Institute of Fine Arts. “In order to preserve our country’s cultural heritage, there needs to be superior graduate education in the conservation of objects. The NEH has not only been an early leader in this area but continues to support this vital effort to protect and care for the material record of our history and culture.”
The NEH grant will be used for completing: specialized courses for twelve students in the theory and practice of objects conservation organized by material, period, and object classification (polychrome sculpture, organic and inorganic archaeological and ethnographic objects, metals, glass, and modern and contemporary art); new courses for eight students in the field of technical studies in support of art historical and archaeological research, in particular the technologies of pyrotechnical materials (metals, ceramics, glass, and enamels,); and tuition and stipend support for six top-ranked students who are finishing advanced coursework in objects conservation and technical studies.
The Conservation Center is dedicated to the study of technology and conservation of works of art and historic artifacts. It was the first graduate-level degree-granting program in the United States. Established in 1960, under the sponsorship of the Rockefeller Foundation, it prepares students for careers in conservation through a four-year program that combines practical experience in conservation with historical, archaeological, curatorial, and scientific studies of the materials and construction of works of art. Upon completion of all requirements, the student receives a Master’s Degree in Art History as well as an Advanced Certificate in the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
The Institute of Fine Arts of New York University is unique in the world today as a center of research and graduate study that combines the history of art, archaeology, conservation, and museum curatorship. It is ranked first among graduate programs in the history of art in this country and has been cited by the NEH as a “national asset.”