maggie barkovic (above) | she examines Capri by Helen Frankenthaler in the Empire State Plaza Art Collection.
julie reilly (above) | the new executive director of the williamstown + atlanta art conservation centers
The New Year always brings conations of new discoveries and adventures that await us, especially now that the social effects of a pandemic have seemed to lessen. The 2023 New Year is especially celebratory for the Williamstown + Atlanta Art Conservation Center as we appoint Julie A. Reilly the next executive director to lead our organization. Julie is visionary in the field of conservation of cultural preservation and comes to the Center from the Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA). She is a respected community builder and with years of experience directing multiple conservation institutions—from the youngest to the oldest regional conservation centers in the country and working for collecting institutions like Colonial Williamsburg and the Winterthur Museum. We are enthusiastic for Julie to start in her new role on January 9, 2023 and look forward to having her on board. Stay engaged with our social media output as we orchestrate new developments under her leadership.
As the snow dusts the top of the trees and the cold air sets in, there are less distractions affording us more time to process our surroundings and make new discoveries—the theme of this volume of the Art Conservator. We have had one of the busiest years at the Center, filled with interdisciplinary opportunities to research and make insights into the projects on which we collaborate. In this issue, we feature the work of Brook Prestowitz, who conserves and analyzes several folios from a medieval book of hours from France. Immerse yourself in the world of medieval manuscript making as you look upon the delicate details applied with gold leaf and gorgeous pigments with latin translations by Williams College professor, Dr. Joel Pattinson. We also have incredible contributions from other colleagues in Atlanta and Williamstown—whether it be a beautiful glass and gilded Briati Chair, to the materials and techniques used by Pieter Lastman, or a recently discovered Norman Rockwell.
Part of our core mission and personal dedication is the continued education of those that are studying to be a museum professional or conservator. We have the distinct pleasure of teaching both our pre-program interns and the art history graduate students at Williams College. This year we are excited to have two Lenett Fellows through a collaboration between the Center, the Clark Institute of Art, and Williams College: Delaney Keenan and S.J. Young, both of whom are in their last year in the graduate art history program at Williams College. Delaney is working with me in the paintings conservation lab to study the preparatory grounds used by Nehemiah Partridge and John Heaton in early 18th century Dutch Patroon portraits in the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art. S.J. is working with Christine Puza and Brook Prestowitz on a variety of 18th-19th century textiles and paper ephemera. SJ is interested in the intercultural exchange between France and former colonies as reflected in styles of dress. Research produced by these projects will be published in the next volume of the Art Conservator. Our extremely talented pre-program conservation interns have also been teaming up with our Lenett fellows to understand the many tools available for technical analysis. They continue to amaze us while they prepare their applications for admissions to graduate art conservation programs—in this issue, we teamed our interns with their supervisors to tell us about the pre-program internship, what they’re up to in the labs, and what inspires them to pursue a career in art conservation.
Both myself and all of my colleagues wish you a wonderful holiday and prosperous New Year as you read about our recent endeavors in art conservation.
— Maggie Barkovic
Art Conservator is a publication of the Williamstown + Atlanta Art Conservation Center
All rights reserved. Text and photographs copyright © Williamstown + Atlanta Art Conservation Center, unless otherwise noted. Art Conservator is a triannual publication. Material may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the Williamstown + Atlanta Art Conservation Center. The Center is a nonprofit, multi-service conservation center serving the needs of member museums, nonprofit institutions and laboratories, and the general public.