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News Recent faculty hires at UD and Winterthur

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​Left: Maddie Hagerman. Right: Lara Kaplan.

​We are happy to announce four recent faculty hires for the Department of Art Conservation or Winterthur – Maddie Hagerman, Lara Kaplan, Nina Owczarek, and Dr. Joelle D. J. Wickens. Each of these remarkable conservators – three in objects and one in preventive – will share their knowledge and skills with our graduate and undergraduate students while they work to strengthen and broaden our curriculum, advance research, and create new opportunities for campus, community, and global partnerships.

Maddie Hagerman has worked at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library since 2016, upon graduation from University College London with an MA in Principles of Conservation and an MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums. Maddie spent her first two years at Winterthur researching and treating Delft tiles in the collection as the Winterthur Postgraduate Fellow in Objects Conservation. She will present her findings this fall at the joint ICOM-CC and Icon Glass and Ceramics Conference at the British Museum, where she spent the last year of her graduate studies working as an intern in the Ceramics, Glass and Metals Conservation Department. For the past year, she split her time between Winterthur and the University of Delaware, acting as Assistant Objects Conservator and Affiliated Assistant Professor, treating objects for loan and exhibition while teaching classes in the undergraduate program. Maddie is excited to continue her work mentoring undergraduate conservation students in the year ahead. She is keenly interested in the history of conservation and ethical treatment practices.

Lara Kaplan has been hired as conservator at Winterthur effective July 15, 2019, where she will join Lauren Fair in the Objects Conservation Laboratory. Lara graduated from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) in 2003, majoring in objects conservation. She fostered an interest in conserving objects from indigenous cultures by interning 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. Following this, she held a postgraduate Mellon Fellowship at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, the year their museum building opened on the National Mall. Lara has been in private practice since 2005, first in Baltimore and more recently in Philadelphia, working with institutions and private clients in both areas. Conservation education has also been a key part of her work. In addition to leading courses and guest lecturing at universities in Baltimore and Washington, DC, she has also served as a long-time affiliated faculty member at WUDPAC, where she has supervised student projects and led advanced seminars on specialized topics. In 2017, she began leading the organic objects block of the first-year curriculum. Lara is looking forward to being an active member of the Winterthur objects lab and continuing to contribute to teaching at WUDPAC, focusing in both roles on interdisciplinary collaboration and issues of diversity and inclusion. She is also hoping to pursue research interests in the conservation and analysis of organic materials, especially skin and leather, the identification and treatment of plastics, and ethical issues in the conservation of non-traditional collections.

​Left: Nina Owczarek. Right: Joelle Wickens.

Nina Owczarek has been hired by the Department as an assistant professor, effective August 16, 2019. Nina is a graduate of the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University  and  currently Associate Conservator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum), where she has worked for nine years. Her primary responsibility is the evaluation and preparation of artifacts for travel and display on loan. In 2016, she managed the international symposium Engaging Conservation: Collaboration Across Disciplines, in honor of the Penn Museum Conservation Department's 50th-year anniversary. Today, Owczarek serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Object Specialty Group (2016–2020) and is the former Chair of the Education and Training Committee, both of the American Institute of Conservation (AIC). She is a Fellow member of AIC. Prior to the Penn Museum, Nina was a Smithsonian Fellow in Conservation at the National Museum of African Art, Assistant Conservator at the Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center, and Graduate Intern at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Nina has worked on various other short-term and private projects and has extensive experience with archeological materials. Nina looks forward to working with our students, both graduate and undergraduate, sharing her knowledge, excitement, and skills in the care and preservation of objects from archeological and indigenous environments, and developing coursework and scholarship centered on conservation practices and cultural context.

Joelle Wickens has been hired as an assistant professor in the Department, effective July 1, 2019.  Joelle holds a PhD and an MA (Distinction) from the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton, UK, and a BA in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania. Joelle co-founded AIC's Collection Care Network (CCN) in 2011 and served as its first chair from 2011–2014. In 2016, she led the creation of a preventive conservation major for WUDPAC, and in 2018 began supervising WUDPAC's first preventive conservation major. Most recently, Joelle has held the position of Preventive Conservator for Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, and WUDPAC Associate Director and Affiliate Assistant Professor for the University of Delaware. As preventive conservator at Winterthur, Joelle has directed a museum-wide team of talented professionals who oversee all aspects of collections care, including storage and exhibition practices, housekeeping, and emergency planning. As WUDPAC Associate Director, her responsibilities have focused on curriculum oversight and assessment and support of student and faculty learning and teaching. She has been instrumental in our ongoing educational collaboration with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Voices in Contemporary Art and our work to assist Philadelphia's Central High School in the preservation of their impressive African collection. In her new position, Joelle will continue her commitment to the development and mentoring of faculty and students while supervising students majoring or minoring in preventive conservation. Her research agenda will focus on the assessment of common teaching methods used in conservation, enhancing leadership skills in our profession, and strengthening preventive conservation practices in small institutions globally.

Maddie, Lara, Nina, and Joelle are dedicated to student success, diversity and inclusion, and community engagement. They will bring many new and welcome opportunities to the Department of Art Conservation, Winterthur, and the University of Delaware – and the world – in teaching, research, outreach, and collaboration.

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We are happy to announce four recent faculty hires who will share their knowledge and skills with our graduate and undergraduate students.

​We are happy to announce four recent faculty hires who will share their knowledge and skills with our graduate and undergraduate students.

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Recent faculty hires at UD and Winterthur
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Recent faculty hires at UD and Winterthur
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489