The Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center at NYU has been awarded a $1,375,000 grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to support the longstanding Kress Program in Paintings Conservation.

Lorenzo di Niccolò, attributed to (1392–1412). The Martyrdom of St. Stephen. ca. 1400. Tempera on panel, 10 3/8” x 19 7/8”, AAC no. 1939.002, Kress no. K-1016. Thank you to the Arkansas Arts Center for the loan of the painting.

The Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center at NYU has been awarded a $1,375,000 grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to support the longstanding Kress Program in Paintings Conservation, inaugurated in 1989. The award sustains the unique partnership between the two organizations, which serves to educate the next generation of Old Master painting conservators and the conservation and research of invaluable artworks in the dispersed Kress Collection.

The new five-year grant cycle of the Kress Program in Paintings Conservation will expand to include Assistant Conservator and Research Scholar Shan Kuang; a Kress Fellow in Painting Conservation; a graduate student fellowship in memory of the late conservator Mario Modestini; supplemental hands-on workshops; an annual Kress Lecture; and the development of the Kress Collection Web Project. The latter will document, share, and archive the work of the program to date, with the goal of disseminating and providing free access to technical scholarship on paintings from all Italian Schools.

Based on the ongoing critical needs of many Kress paintings, combined with the resources available at the Conservation Center, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation began supporting the paintings program with a grant in 1991 that formalized the pilot program established under the direction of Research Professor Dianne Dwyer Modestini.

From its inception to the present day, over 220 paintings from Kress Regional Galleries, Study Collections, and individual gift collections have received full treatment, technical examination, and documentation. Students and staff evaluate the often-complex problems that affect Old Master paintings, consider various interventions, interact with institutional owners and scholars, and carry out treatments. Their decisions made throughout the course of a treatment are discussed in the studio-classroom and form an essential part of the students’ education.

Thanks to the support of the Foundation and the efforts of the faculty, staff, and students of the Conservation Center, the program continues to expand. Kress Program students have benefited from funded summer internships at institutions such as the Museo del Prado and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and final year internships at prominent museums across the United States. Graduates have secured highly competitive postgraduate fellowships and permanent positions at institutions including, among others, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.

“As our graduates and hundreds of lovingly treated Kress paintings prove,” remarked Margaret Holben Ellis, Chair and Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation, “the Kress Program in Paintings Conservation provides crucial hands-on experience and mentorship in the care and treatment of highly important European master paintings. This award is an affirmation of what the Conservation Center does best.”

About the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
The Institute of Fine Arts, an international leader in research and graduate teaching, is committed to global engagement and advancing the fields of art history, archaeology, and the theory and practice of conservation. 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 that combines training in art conservation with historical, archaeological, curatorial, and scientific studies. For more information, please visit

About the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Established in 1929, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation sustains the original vision of its founder Samuel H. Kress (1863–1955) by supporting individuals and institutions engaged in the appreciation, interpretation, preservation, and study of the history of European art and architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the modern era.

The Foundation supports art history as practiced in American art museums and universities, as well as research centers and libraries throughout the world. It also supports training and research in art conservation as well as the professional practice of art conservation. Please visit for more information.

Inquiries regarding the Kress Program in Paintings Conservation can be directed to Shan Kuang (

Press Contact

Sarah Binney
Sarah Binney
(212) 998-6829