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Lara (she/her) received her M.S. in Art Conservation from the Winterthur/University of
Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) in 2003, majoring in
objects conservation. To foster an interest in conserving indigenous
cultural materials, she interned in Sitka, Alaska at the Sheldon Jackson
Museum, and in Tucson, Arizona at the Arizona State Museum and the
National Park Service Western Archaeological and Conservation Center.
She then held a post-graduate Mellon Fellowship at the Smithsonian
National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. the year
their museum building opened on the National Mall.
opened a private conservation business in 2005, working with
institutions and private clients in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and
Philadelphia. Conservation education has also been a key part of her
work. In addition to leading courses and guest lecturing at universities
in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, she also served as a long-time
affiliated faculty member at WUDPAC, supervising student projects and
teaching advanced seminars on specialized topics. Since 2017, she has
led the organic objects portion of the first-year curriculum.
joined the staff at Winterthur Museum in 2019, where she cares for
collection objects and continues to contribute to teaching at WUDPAC. In
both roles, Lara emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration and issues
of diversity and inclusion. Her research interests include the
conservation and analysis of organic materials, especially skin and
leather, the identification and treatment of plastics, and ethical
considerations in the conservation of non-traditional collections.
With fellow conservators Ellen Carrlee and Caitlin Mahony, Lara is currently coediting a new textbook, Caring for Plant Based Material Culture: A Conservation Handbook, to be published by Routledge in 2026.
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