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is with great sorrow that we report that Bruno
Pouliot—Winterthur Senior Conservator of Objects and WUDPAC Affiliated Assitant Professor—passed away on May 23, 2018. His family, Sylvie, Camille,
and Noemie, were with him.
A celebration of Bruno's life was held on June 4th in the Sundial Garden at Winterthur. Over 200 alumni and other conservators from across the country attended the event. Many spoke, sharing their stories and heartfelt memories. Bruno's family spoke of his lifelong love of nature, teaching, and conservation. Virtual attendees shared their memories of Bruno through social media posts from Zimbabwe
Bruno joined in 1997 the staff of Winterthur Museum and also became faculty in the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. At the time of his passing, he served as Senior Objects Conservator and Head of the objects laboratory for the museum, and as Affiliated Assistant Professor for the conservation program.
Following the completion of his Master’s Degree in Art Conservation at Queen’s University in the 1980’s, Bruno developed a wide expertise in the conservation of objects, particularly those in a decorative art and ethnographic setting. His early career included internships at several museums in the Canadian West, California, and France, as well as teaching in West Africa an ICCROM course on the conservation of wooden objects. From 1986 to 1997, he occupied two different positions as the single objects conservator at two well-known Canadian museums: the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, and the McCord Museum in Montreal. In both of these roles, Bruno played an important role establishing conservation and collections care procedures, while helping prepare objects for a variety of exhibits. He shared his work at different conferences and publications, and in 1996 he coordinated a workshop of the Canadian Association for Conservation on the theme of integrated pest management.
Bruno worked at Winterthur for nearly 20 years, overseeing the objects conservation laboratory and contributing to the care and treatment of objects at Winterthur, focusing especially on organic materials, metals, and stain reduction on ceramics. He expanded the curriculum for the first-year students on organic materials, with emphasis beyond the decorative arts and ethnography, to modern materials and those related to natural sciences. He served as major supervisor for the objects majors during their second year of study, and contributed to the extensive seminar series that allowed students to delve deeper in many aspects of objects conservation. He served as French Editor for the abstracts of the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, and as Editor for the Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts Online. His particular research interests allowed him to present many lectures and posters nationally and internationally, as well as publish articles on a variety of topics, including the lacquering of silver, the conservation of basketry, hornware, shell, leather, and tinplate, plus the specific process of stain reduction on ceramics. In 2010 he was the recipient of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Sheldon & Caroline Keck Award for excellence in the education and training of conservation professionals and in 2018 Bruno received the AIC’s Robert L. Feller Lifetime Achievement Award, given for exceptional contributions to the conservation profession over the course of one’s career. Bruno was the sixth recipient of the award since its
inception in 2011. The award was presented on April 30th at the Hawkes Center on
the Winterthur Estate, by AIC president Margaret Holben Ellis. Bruno’s remarks cited his profound
admiration, commitment, and gratitude to the AIC, Winterthur, WUPDAC
(especially his 80+ students), and the profession of conservation. His
acceptance speech was taped and was shared at the 2018 AIC
meeting in Houston. He will be dearly missed.
In lieu of
flowers, the Pouliot family suggests contributions in Bruno’s memory be
made to Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library with “Bruno Pouliot Memorial”
in the memo line and mailed to Winterthur Museum,
c/o Development, 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE 19735. The funds
will be used toward the purchase of a tree to be planted in the Garden
and the Louise and David Roselle Exhibitions Endowment.
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