The new board members bring a wealth of professional experience and a commitment to educating future generations of art historians, art conservators, and archaeologists.

Institute of Fine Arts building
NYU's Institute of Fine Arts

Marica Vilcek, chair of the NYU Institute of Fine Arts’ Board of Trustees, is pleased to announce the addition of three new members of the Institute’s Board. Harriet Stratis, paper conservator, technical art historian, and alumna of the Institute; Paula Volent, investment officer, paper conservator, and alumna of the Institute; and Graeme Whitelaw, architect and collector, join the Institute’s board, bringing a wealth of experience and engagement in philanthropy, art conservation, and the art world.

Harriet Stratis is a paper conservator and scholar with special expertise in the study and treatment of pastels. She served as Conservator of Prints and Drawings and Head of Paper Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1995 to 2013. She then assumed the role of Senior Research Conservator before retiring in 2017 and establishing her private consulting practice, Stratis Fine Art Conservation LLC. Ms. Stratis has published and presented talks on the materials and techniques employed by numerous artists, including Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Paul Gauguin, Odilon Redon, and James McNeill Whistler. She has a BA in Art History and Visual Arts from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an MA in Art History and a Certificate in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

Paula Volent joined The Rockefeller University as Vice President and Chief Investment Officer in August 2021. Previously she served as the Chief Investment Officer and Senior Vice President at Bowdoin College, and as a Senior Associate at the Yale University endowment. Ms. Volent earned a BA from the University of New Hampshire; a master’s degree in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; a Certificate in Conservation from the Conservation Center at the Institute, with a specialization in the conservation of works of art on paper; and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Prior to focusing on endowment management, Ms. Volent worked as a paper conservator at the New York Historical Society, the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts, the LA County Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. She also ran a private paper conservation studio in Los Angeles, California.

Graeme Whitelaw is a retired architect who had his own practice consulting for architectural projects for corporations, institutions, and developers. He held positions at several architecture firms, including May Whitelaw Pinska, and Ehrenkrantz, Eckstut & Whitelaw. Earlier in his career, he was president of a New York office of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm. From 1966 to 1970, he worked for architect I. M. Pei's New York firm. Mr. Whitelaw, originally from Australia, moved to the United States in 1961 and started his career in architecture at Philip Johnson Associates. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from Melbourne University in 1958.

“It is an honor to welcome these three new members to the Institute’s Board of Trustees. Each individual brings a wealth of professional talent and experience, as well as a commitment to providing future generations of art historians, art conservators, and archaeologists with a truly excellent education,” said Christine Poggi, Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.

About the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU
In 1932 the Institute of Fine Arts has been dedicated to graduate teaching and advanced research in the history of art, archaeology, and conservation. The Institute has a faculty unrivaled in the breadth and depth of its expertise and in the range of its visiting lecturers from top museums, research institutes, and conservation studios. The Institute has conferred more than 2,700 degrees, and its alumni hold leadership roles as professors, curators, museum directors, archaeologists, conservators, critics, and institutional administrators throughout the U.S. and internationally.

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