Preserving the Arts

Wilson intern Mikayla RaymondThrough the generosity of Jane Hurley Wilson ’64 and Michael Wilson (HMC ’63), Scripps College students interested in art conservation gain hands-on experience in the field interning at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. Wilson interns are paid to work alongside professionals on conservation projects—an experience rarely offered to undergraduates—and current conservation interns Mikayla Raymond ’15, art conservation major, and Susanna Ferrell ’15, dual art and art history major, gained much from their training.

Last fall, Raymond continued her summer Andrew W. Mellon research internship with conservator Donna Williams. In addition to working with Williams in her Los Angeles studio, Raymond learned the proper techniques to clean and maintain the Shakespeare relief Midsummer Night’s Dream, recently conserved and returned to its Balch Hall home. “I have found it extremely rewarding to work with a professional conservator,” says Raymond. “As someone who is interested in pursuing conservation as a career, working alongside someone who has been doing this for years has taught me so much.”

Meanwhile, Ferrell prepared condition reports of a select group of priceless yet damaged Chinese paintings from Scripps’ permanent collection. Six paintings in the collection, primarily from the 16th-century Ming and 19th-century Qing dynasties, will be conserved with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and have been made usable for teaching and display with a $58,385 grant from Museums for America. “The experience has been incredibly immersive,” she says. “I’ve been able to work directly with the Chinese paintings as well as conserve ceramics from the Williamson Gallery collection, under the guidance of Scripps instructor Alice Boccia Paterakis.”

Art Conservation

Mary MacNaughton ’70, director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery and an associate professor of art history at Scripps College, was on the statewide public affairs program “California Edition” to talk about art conservation recently: