Posted on September 7th, 2010

Student News

Summer 2010 – Clare Conniff

Clare and the other students with family and friends of the program's director.

My Summer 2010 plans fell into my lap in the form of a mass e-mail from a professor. After quickly filling out some applications and emailing the director of Sinergie, an art restoration program based in the Puglia region of Italy, I found myself spending the month of June in Altamura, a small city near Bari, Italy. I have been interested in art restoration for several years, but I had written it off as something I would have to wait until grad school to do.   Instead, in Altamura I found myself working hands-on with extremely damaged canvases and wooden statues that were 300-400 years old. Tonio, the program director, gave us instructions and demonstrations and then allowed us to not only try the work by ourselves but to do the vast majority of it on our own. In addition to the education in restoration techniques, I and the other students working with the program also found ourselves immersed in the culture of Southern Italy. We stayed in a 40-room villa in the countryside that, although sometimes quiet at night, was a hub of activity. Everyday we encountered Tonio’s friends and family, children and adults taking English courses, and farm workers employed by the villa’s owner who wanted to see our work and interact with us. All in all, I have never had a more productive, educational, and fun summer.

Student News

Summer 2010 – Nicolette Cook

During this summer I had two internships, one working with Gwen Spicer, a textile conservator in Delmar, NY and the other working with Hallie Halpern, a painting conservator in East Chatham. With Gwen I was able to work on a late 18th – early 19th Century 13 Star Whiskey Rebellion Flag, a 1863-64 silk flag gifted to the 4th Colored Regiment of the United States from the Colored Ladies of Baltimore, a 1940s handmade satin wedding dress, a 20th C wool coverlet, as well as construct mannequins for settler and Native American replica costumes. With Hallie I assisted her with cleaning and consolidating a large Chinese propaganda oil painting on canvas from the 1960s showing Mao Zedong climbing a hill surrounded by men of the working class. Both internships were interesting, informative and taught me a great deal about how private conservators work.  I will definitely be working with them again in the near future.