Now that the exterior paint removal is complete, the more tedious, but very important work of prepping the interior surface of the statue has begun. The interior and exterior will be painted, which should provide a level of protection against corrosion. To get a good bond between the new paint layer and the metal, all of the loose and unstable paint layers need to be removed. On the interior of the statue, this has to be done by hand. It is an exacting and time-consuming process.
Some of you may be wondering exactly what is an art conservator and how anyone discovers this relatively obscure field that is a combination of studio art, materials science, and art history.
For me, it was my high school art teacher showing me an article in the New York Times about conservators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, looking at Rembrandt paintings with x-radiographs in order to discover which ones might be fakes. Many years later, I find myself working as an objects conservator at the Brooklyn Museum, where we are currently looking at limestone relief fragments to determine which ones might be fake.
In the past, most conservators apprenticed to gain experience I the field. Now, there are four graduate programs in the United Statues offering Master’s Degrees in Art Conservation. They are the following:
Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Michele.firstname.lastname@example.org
Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, email@example.com
There are additionally other programs in the field of architectural preservation. Architectural conservators will often work on large sculptural projects, such as the Brooklyn Museum’s Replica of the Statue of Liberty. Two are offered at the following Universities:
University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Bruno, Conservator of Objects
Lisa Bruno is the head conservator of objects at the Brooklyn Museum, where she has been working since 1993. She has previously worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, and has had internships at The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and in private practice. She has a Masters Degree in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum Art Conservation Department. She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation.