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Molly Gleeson is a conservator with a great passion for public outreach, community engagement, and connecting people with cultural heritage. Molly’s career in conservation began at UD, as an Art Conservation undergraduate student (BA, 2002). She continued her graduate studies in the UCLA/Getty Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage (MA, 2008). With over 20 years of experience in the field, Molly has worked in museums and archaeological sites in the United States, Chile, Easter Island, and Egypt. She currently works as a conservator at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Molly is pursuing a PhD in the PSP program because she is interested in expanding the definitions of conservation and preservation practice and seeking participatory ways of working with new audiences.
TOPIC: The therapeutic potential of heritage conservation: preservation practice through a community health lens
This research will examine how caring for art and heritage can contribute to positive health outcomes for people who are experiencing serious health issues or significant loss, with a specific focus on disaster-impacted communities. This research will be interdisciplinary, drawing on and collaborating with colleagues in fields such as disaster research, sociology, anthropology, and healthcare, but the work will be centered in preservation practice. A secondary goal of this research will be to demonstrate how carrying out conservation practice through a community health lens will benefit the field of conservation and conservation professionals and better serve collections care practices in museums and other collecting institutions.
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