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Sarah Barack received a Masters of Art History and a certificate of
Conservation from the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts at New
York University in 2003, with a focus on objects conservation. She
subsequently completed a post-graduate
internship at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago,
followed by an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in the Sherman Fairchild
Center for Objects Conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where
she researched German late-Gothic stained glass
workshop practices. Sarah stayed on as an Assistant Conservator,
working primarily on glass and ceramics objects for several different
curatorial departments. Sarah then completed a Masters of Business
Administration at Columbia Business School and launched
a private conservation studio based in Brooklyn, New York. For clients
including major museums, auction houses, collectors and small house
museums, Sarah treated a range of objects but always returned to
researching her main passion, the history of glass
technology. Throughout this time, Sarah also dedicated herself to
teaching and organizing technical art history programming at New York
University and at the Yale University Art Gallery. Sarah is currently Head of Conservation and Senior Objects Conservator at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
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TOPIC: Technology of Early American Glass
Building on a small grant to investigate cutting-edge treatment processes for an 18th-century
American glass campaign decanter set, Sarah began looking into
technical studies of Colonial and early Republic period glass. Although
this topic has been studied over the course of the 20th century,
questions remain concerning analysis of various regional compositions as
well as the relationship between technical advances and glasshouses,
the workers (who often immigrated from Europe), and
the ultimate market for these goods. Sarah’s research will focus on
this topic, delving deeper as she identifies collections with which to
work and ultimately prepares her dissertation proposal.