General Objects Conservator, Hagley Museum and Library
Affiliated Assistant Professor
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
Ebenezer Kotei is the General Objects Conservator at the Hagley
Museum & Library in Wilmington, Delaware. As the only Objects
Conservator, he is charged with the conservation and preservation of
over forty thousand objects in the museum’s collection. This ranges from
heavy industrial artifacts of the E. I. Dupont gunpowder manufactory to
small family relics of the duPont family, as well as synthetic
materials including frail and explosive cellulose nitrate and samples of
nylon, fabrikoid, Dacron, etc.
After acquiring a certificate in
chemistry, physics and biology from his native Ghana in West Africa,
Kotei studied at the Institute Of Archaeology of the University of
London, England, where he acquired an Honors degree in Archaeological
Conservation and Materials Science. He carried out advanced internships
at the National Maritime Museum, the Ancient Monuments Laboratory, now
English Heritage, and the Scottish Heritage Department in Edinburgh. In
1986, Kotei was hired as the Archaeological Metals Conservator at the
Passmore Edwards Museum in the London Borough Of New Ham, England. At
the same time, he studied for the Master’s degree in Chemical and
Materials Analysis at the Thames Polytechnic.
completed his credit requirements, he did not stay to complete the
course paper. Instead, he accepted an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the
Detroit Institute Of Arts (DIA) in Michigan and left London for the
United States. At the DIA, Kotei designed a method for cleaning the
three-story marble walls, capitals, and cornices surrounding the Diego
Rivera frescoes in the courtyard of the museum. The Detroit Industry
Murals had first been unveiled in 1933, and portray the industrial life
of Detroit, especially in the automobile industry. The travertine marble
surrounding the frescoes had not been cleaned for over fifty years.
This treatment was published in the DIA magazine in January 1989.
September 1988, Kotei has been the Conservator at the Hagley Museum,
where he has designed and built two laboratories and has worked on
hundreds of objects with a range of materials. During this period he has
worked with many students from the University Of Delaware and WUDPAC.
In 2009 Kotei earned the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree
from the University of Delaware.
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