The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center $200,000 to fund eight graduate student fellowships in the conservation of cultural heritage.

Lydia Aikenhead working on a page from Joan Blaeu's Atlas Maior, Dutch, 1662, Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. Image courtesy: Amelia Catalano.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center $200,000 to fund eight graduate student fellowships in the conservation of cultural heritage.

Founded in 1960, the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts awards a dual MA/MS in art history and conservation after four years of full-time study and practice. The Center teaches students to examine, document, research, and treat works of material culture, and to design, implement, and administer preventive care programs. Recently augmented offerings include a closer evaluation of conservation ethics, the integration of sustainable and preventive conservation into routine preservation practices, and the delivery of specialized training in currently understaffed areas, such as time-based media art conservation. The Conservation Center strives to produce conservation professionals who are broad critical thinkers, excellent communicators, collaborative partners, and creative problem solvers. These attributes characterize truly effective collection stewards, who can navigate today’s more global and complex discipline.

“Through their knowledge and skills, our graduates will ensure the preservation of our cultural heritage for continued and enhanced scholarly research,” observes Margaret Holben Ellis, Chair of the Conservation Center and Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation. “As more complex physical and social threats confront collections, conservators must develop new technologies and specialized training. This generous grant from the NEH recognizes these challenges and will bolster our concerted efforts to address them.”

“The Institute is honored to be awarded this NEH grant that will support our efforts to educate the next generation of conservation professionals charged with caring for humanities collections,” noted Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. “The NEH’s dedication to the Conservation Center plays a critical role in preserving our artistic and historic heritage.”

For more information please contact: Margaret Holben Ellis, Chair and Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation at mhe1@nyu.edu.

About the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University:
The Institute of Fine Arts is an international leader in research and graduate teaching, and committed to global engagement and advancing the fields of art history, archaeology, and the theory and practice of conservation. New York City, with its incomparable resources and vitality, provides a backdrop and extended campus for the Institute’s activities. Founded in 1960, the Conservation Center is the oldest degree-granting graduate program in art conservation in the United States. The Conservation Center offers a four-year, dual MA/MS graduate program combining training in art conservation with historical, archaeological, curatorial, and scientific studies.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH):
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov