ECPN Fall Webinar Announcement – Showcasing Your Work: Preparing and Maintaining a Conservation Portfolio

The Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) is pleased to announce our upcoming webinar, “Showcasing Your Work: Preparing and Maintaining a Conservation Portfolio,” taking place on Tuesday, November 14th from 12:30-1:30 pm EST.

A well-conceived and eye-catching portfolio can be crucial for emerging conservation professionals to progress in the field. But when is a digital portfolio appropriate versus a hard-copy portfolio? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? How should your portfolio evolve as you progress in your career? This Webinar will cover the creation and use of digital and hard-copy portfolios in various scenarios and early-career stages, from pre-program candidate to graduate student and post-graduate.

ECPN has invited two speakers to provide different perspectives on this topic. Susan Heald, Textile Conservator at the National Museum of the American Indian, will discuss her experience reviewing portfolios as part of internship and fellowship applications. Gwen Manthey, a paintings conservator who has worked in both private practice and museums, will speak about digital portfolios, including the practicalities of compiling and maintaining one.

ECPN is seeking submissions for the Q&A session following the speakers’ presentations. To submit your questions in advance, please post in the comments section below or send them via email to Questions will be accepted until the morning of the webinar, or can be submitted during the presentations via the GoToWebinar platform.

Attendance is free and open to all AIC members. Please register here to watch the webinar. If you are unable to view the program on November 14, or are not a member of AIC, the full video will be recorded and uploaded onto the AIC YouTube Channel following the broadcast.


Please see below to learn more about our speakers:

SUSAN HEALD has been the National Museum of the American Indian’s textile conservator since 1994, where she has supervised many pre-program interns and post-graduate fellows. Prior to NMAI, she served as the Minnesota Historical Society’s textile conservator, and was a Smithsonian Conservation Analytical Lab postgraduate fellow. She holds an MS in Art Conservation (textile major/objects minor) from the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum, and a BA in Chemistry and Anthropology from the George Washington University. She served as chair and vice-chair for the AIC Textile Specialty Group (1997-98), and as a board member for the North American Textile Conservation Conference (2004-09).

GWEN MANTHEY is the newly-appointed Contract Interim Paintings Conservator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and maintains a private practice outside of Philadelphia. Prior positions include Assistant Paintings Conservator at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, VA), and the Wyeth Fellow for American Art at the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, MD). A graduate of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (B.A.S, M.S., C.A.S.), she is serving as Program Chair for the Philadelphia Area Conservation Association and a mentor for ECPN-HBCU Mentor-Pilot Program.


— Posted on behalf of ECPN Webinar Coordinator Jen Munch (

ECPN spring webinar: Pathways into Conservation Science

The Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) is pleased to announce that our next webinar “Pathways into Conservation Science” will take place on Friday, April 22nd from 12-1pm (EST).
The program will feature three speakers: Dr. Tom Learner, Head of Science at the Getty Conservation Institute; Dr. Gregory Smith, the Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; and Dr. Robyn Hodgkins, the Charles E. Culpeper Fellow in the Scientific Research Department at the National Gallery of Art. The presenters will share their own diverse training experiences, touching on the history of education in conservation science and the current pathways into the field. ECPN hopes that the webinar will provide guidance to individuals considering careers in conservation science, current students and post-doctorates entering the field, as well as inform emerging conservators.
The format of this webinar will be Q&A style. ECPN is seeking question submissions prior to the webinar broadcast. Please submit your questions as comments to this post, or contact ECPN’s Professional Education and Training co-Officer, Elyse Driscoll at Questions will be accepted until the morning of the webinar. Selected unanswered questions may be addressed in an AIC blog post following the webinar.
This webinar is free and open to all AIC members but you must register! To register, please click here. You will receive an email with information on how to connect to the webinar shortly before April 22nd.
If you miss “Pathways into Conservation Science” or wish to watch it again later, it will be recorded and uploaded onto the AIC YouTube channel.  For a listing of past ECPN webinars, please visit our archive on AIC’s blog Conservators Converse, our Wiki page, or AIC’s YouTube channel.
About the Presenters:
Tom Learner is head of the Science Department at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI); he oversees all of the Institute’s scientific research, developing and implementing projects that advance conservation practice in the visual arts. As a GCI senior scientist from 2007 to 2013, he oversaw the Modern and Contemporary Art Research initiative, during which time he developed an international research agenda related to the conservation of modern paints, plastics, and contemporary outdoor sculpture. Before this, he served as a senior conservation scientist at Tate, London, where he developed Tate’s analytical and research strategies for modern materials and led the Modern Paints project in collaboration with the GCI and National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Dr. Learner holds a PhD in chemistry from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a diploma in the conservation of easel paintings from the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Dr. Gregory Dale Smith received a B.S. degree from Centre College of Kentucky in anthropology/sociology and chemistry before pursuing graduate studies at Duke University, where he was as a National Science Foundation graduate fellow in time-domain vibrational spectroscopy and archaeological fieldwork. He held postgraduate positions at the British Library, the V & A Museum, the National Synchrotron Light Source, and the National Gallery of Art. In 2004, Dr. Smith joined the faculty of the conservation training program at Buffalo State College as the Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Conservation Science. In 2010, Dr. Smith was hired as the Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist at the Indianapolis Museum of Art where he established and now operates a state-of-the-art research facility to study and preserve the museum’s encyclopedic collection. Dr. Smith’s research interests include undergraduate education at the Arts-Science interface, assessing pollution off-gassing of museum construction materials, and understanding the chemical degradation of artists’ materials. Greg is a Professional Associate of the AIC and has served as an associate editor of JAIC for the past 10 years.
Dr. Robyn Hodgkins is the Charles E. Culpeper Fellow in the Scientific Research Department at the National Gallery of Art (NGA), Washington, DC. She received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before starting at the NGA, Dr. Hodgkins completed a conservation science internship at Tate Britain, and conservation science fellowships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute. Dr. Hodgkins’ interests include understanding the effect of environmental conditions and pollutants on museum objects and artists’ materials using corrosion studies and environmental monitoring, and developing methods for the identification of paint constituents.

Meet the Speakers! ECPN’s Upcoming Webinar on Preparing for Graduation Education in Art Conservation

ECPN’s next webinar, Beyond the Prerequisites: Preparing for Graduate Education in Art Conservation is quickly approaching! This Wednesday, July 16 at 12pm EDT, representatives from five of the North American graduate programs in art conservation will discuss what makes a strong applicant and ways you can grow as an emerging conservation professional.
You may have seen their names on the program websites, but we thought you might like to get to know the speakers a little better before the webinar. Each program representative has provided a short bio to help you become better acquainted!
And there is still time to register — just follow the link below. You will have a chance to submit questions for the Q&A session when you complete the registration form, but you can also send us your questions by leaving a comment on the ECPN Facebook page, or by commenting below on this blog post. You can also submit your questions via email to Megan Salazar-Walsh, ECPN Chair, at
Registration link:
Let’s meet the speakers!
Margaret Holben Ellis is the Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  She also serves as Director, Thaw Conservation Center, The Morgan Library & Museum.  She is currently Vice-President and Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works of Art (AIC), Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC), Accredited Conservator/Restorer of the International Institute of Conservation (ICON).  Professional and academic awards have included the Caroline and Sheldon Keck Award (2003) for a sustained record of excellence in education, the Rutherford John Gettens Merit Award (1997) in recognition of outstanding service to the profession both conferred by the AIC, and a Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome (1994).  She has published and lectured on artists ranging from Raphael and Titian to Pollock and Lichtenstein with her research on artists materials similarly far-ranging.  She is a graduate of Barnard College (1975 B.A. art history, magna cum laude) and the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (1979 M.A. art history; Advanced Certificate in Conservation).
James Hamm has taught paintings conservation in the Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State since 1986. He earned his M.A. degree and Certificate of Advanced Studies in Art Conservation in 1978, in the earlier iteration of the Buffalo program operated by Sheldon and Caroline Keck, as part of the Cooperstown Graduate Programs. Between graduate school and the beginning of his tenure at Buffalo State, James and his wife Patricia Hamm (’75) operated a successful private practice near Albany, New York. Professor Hamm has an ongoing interest in authentication issues and the detection of fakes and forgeries in paintings. Working closely with colleagues in the department, he regularly examines paintings using modern imaging techniques and sophisticated methods of materials analysis, in conjunction with an educated eye, to address questions of age and authenticity. He also applies the knowledge gained from the study of art materials and the processes of their degradation, to the improvement of materials and techniques available to modern artists. As a part of this work, he was awarded a U.S. patent for a rigid painting support for artists and has recently developed a pigmented wax-resin system for filling losses in paintings and objects. He has lectured and published on a wide variety of conservation topics. In 2007, Professor Hamm was honored with the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has supervised students who have become conservation professionals at museums all around this country and a few overseas, as well as those who have established successful private practices.
Rosaleen Hill is the Director of the Queen’s University Art Conservation Program. Prior to joining Queen’s University in 2013 she taught at the School of Library and Archival Studies at the University of British Columbia and in the Conservation of Cultural Materials program at the University of Canberra in Australia. Rosaleen has taught more than 40 workshops and seminars for conservator and allied professionals and has consulted widely for archives, museums, libraries and other heritage institutions.
Debra Hess Norris is chair of the Art Conservation Department at the University of Delaware, director of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, and professor of photograph conservation. Debbie has taught more than 125 workshops and seminars for conservators and allied professionals globally including in Peru, Columbia, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Ireland, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Morocco, Abu Dhabi, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and India. She has published over 35 articles and book chapters on the preservation of photographic materials, conservation education, ethics, and emergency planning. Debbie served as president of the American Institute for Conservation from 1993 – 1997 and chairperson of Heritage Preservation from 2003-2008. She currently serves on the boards of Heritage Preservation and the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, and the Advisory Committees for the FAIC Hermitage Photograph Conservation Initiative, the Mellon Collaborative Photograph Workshops, and the American Friends of the National Gallery of Denmark, among others.  In 2002, she was inducted into the University of Delaware’s Alumni Wall of Fame and in 2004 she was appointed as the Henry Francis duPont Chair of Fine Arts. She is a Fellow in the AIC and the International Institute for Conservation, and received the 2008 AIC University Products Award for distinguished achievement in the conservation of cultural property and the Caroline and Sheldon Keck Award for Teaching Excellence.
Ellen Pearlstein is one of the founding faculty and is associate professor at the UCLA/Getty Master’s Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation, which accepted its first students in 2005. Beforehand, Ellen spent 22 years as a conservator at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City, and she taught classes at the Conservation Center of the IFA. Ellen teaches classes in organic materials conservation, conservation and ethnography, and preventive strategies at UCLA/Getty. Her research focuses on tribal museums and values for cultural preservation; effects of environmental agents on ethnographic and natural history materials (including understanding and preventing light damage in feather work); reinstating context for museum materials found ex situ; and curriculum development within conservation education.

We are looking forward to learning from this amazing group of conservation educators on Wednesday!  If you miss the webinar, it will be posted afterwards on the AIC YouTube channel.  Keep an eye out for an announcement when the link becomes available.

How to Make the Most of Your Pre-Program Internship: About the Speakers

ECPN is getting excited for our upcoming webinar, “How to make the most of your pre-program internship,” featuring Emily Williams, Tom Edmondson, LeeAnn Barnes Gordon, and Ayesha Fuentes. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, September 24th from 12-1pm ET. To register for the program, please visit:
Get to know our speakers by reading their bios below and send in any questions about pre-program internships that you’d like them to discuss by commenting on this post or emailing Anisha Gupta at agupta[at]udel[dot]edu.
Emily Williams has an M.A. (1994) in the Conservation of Historic Objects (Archaeology) from the University of Durham in England.  During graduate school she did placements at the Museum of London, the British Museum and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in Bodrum, Turkey. Since 1995, she has worked at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where she is the current Conservator of Archaeological Materials. While at Colonial Williamsburg she spent five months working at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Australia.  She has worked on excavations in Tunisia and Belgium; served as the site conservator at Tell Banat in Syria, Tell Umm el Marra in Syria, and Kurd Qaburstan in Iraqi Kurdistan; and taught courses on the conservation of waterlogged organics in Egypt.
Emily teaches HISP 208: Introduction to Conservation at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She has been a Professional Associate of AIC since 2000, and is presently serving as the chair of the Education and Training Committee (ETC).
Tom Edmondson was apprentice-trained in paper conservation theory and techniques at the New England Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), North Andover, MA (now the NEDCC, Andover, MA).  Following his training Tom operated a private practice paper conservation studio in Torrington, Connecticut, from April 1978 until August 1987.  In 1987 he closed his studio and took the position of Senior Paper Conservator at the Conservation Center, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas.  Shortly after his arrival he was assigned the position of Chief Conservator of the Conservation Center, from which he resigned in September 1988, when he and Nancy Heugh, relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, to establish their current private practice of Heugh-Edmondson Conservation Services, LLC.  Tom has been a member of AIC since 1977, and was elected a Fellow in 1998.  He served as Co-Chair of the PMG Commentaries Committee and served two 2-year terms as Chair of the AIC-Photographic Materials Group. Tom also served 7 years on the AIC Membership Committee, the last three of which he was Chair.  Always advocates of mentoring aspiring conservators, Tom and his partner Nancy Heugh are the 2011 recipients of AIC’s prestigious Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award in recognition of their sustained record of excellence in the education and training of conservation professionals.
LeeAnn Barnes Gordon earned her M.S. in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation where she trained as an objects conservator. For the past two years she worked for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as the Sherman Fairchild Fellow in Objects Conservation and was the Conservator for the Athienou Archaeological Project in Cyprus. Prior to graduate school, LeeAnn completed internships in conservation at the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Midwest Art Conservation Center, with a conservator in private practice in Minneapolis, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Athienou Archaeological Project.
Ayesha Fuentes is a current 3rd year student at the UCLA/Getty MA Program in Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. She has worked pre-program internships with private practice paintings conservators in Seattle and Ipswich, MA as well as the Objects Conservation Lab at the MFA, Boston. She is currently completing part of her third-year internship at the Department of Culture, Thimphu, Bhutan. As a conservation graduate student, she also has worked at museum and governmental labs in Los Angeles, China, and Sri Lanka.