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from the Winterthur/University of Delaware program in Art Conservation
in 2003 specializing in paintings and modern materials. Since then, she
has worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and
Sculpture Garden as conservator and researcher studying improved
approaches to cleaning and protecting that museum’s renowned collection
of Color Field paintings. This research has involved collaboration with
conservators and conservation scientists at the National Gallery of Art,
the Getty Conservation Institute, and Harvard Art Museums. Since 2006,
Tatiana has also worked in the Hirshhorn Museum’s collection management
department focusing on broader preservation issues surrounding modern
and contemporary artworks. Tatiana holds MS (2003) and BA (2000) degrees
in art conservation from the University of Delaware and has held
internships or fellowships at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural
Heritage (ICN), Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Art, and the
Getty Conservation Institute.
Images: PSP student Tatiana Ausema in front of
Gamma Pi by Morris Louis (top), and testing
appropriate treatment methods for a painting
by Color Field artist Kenneth Noland at the
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,
Smithsonian Institution (above).
Tatiana passed her exams in February 2012, and her proposal presentation in May 2012, and is now working on her dissertation. Her committee members are Joyce Hill Stoner (ARTC co-chair), Roberta Tarbell (ARTC and ARTH, co-chair), Chris Bennett (ARTH), Murray Johnston (CHEM), Tom Learner (External member, Head of Science, Getty Conservation Institute). Tatiana was the recipient of a University Fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year and is a new program chair of the NEH.
TOPIC: Working Methods and Materials of Color Field Painter Morris Louis
other Color Field painters of his generation, Louis used the newly
available acrylic solution paints poured or dripped onto unprimed cotton
canvas to create large, abstract, and groundbreaking paintings.
Between 1954 and his premature death in 1962, the artist created over
600 canvases in his Washington, DC home; however, as many of the works
were larger than his studio space, Louis had few opportunities to see
his works properly stretched and exhibited. Despite this limitation, the
eight years of Louis’s mature career contain four distinctive and fully
realized stylistic periods. Using primary source documentation,
instrumental analysis, and examination of individual paintings, Tatiana
will evaluate the forces that shaped Louis’s stylistic development
including changes in paint formulation, methods of canvas preparation,
critical influences, and refinement of working techniques. This
information will then be used to suggest improved approaches for the
storage, display, and long-term preservation of these vulnerable