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Subject: A death

A death

From: Susan Barger <sbarger>
Date: Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Kendra Deerenee Lovette died on 6 March 2003 in Glen Burnie,
Maryland after a prolonged struggle with multiple sclerosis. Born on
2 March 1947 in St. Louis, Missouri, Kendra was raised by her
grandparents. She began her career in book and paper conservation at
the age of seventeen at the Missouri Botanical Garden. During her
time at the Botanical Garden, she made extended trips to New York in
order to study with the noted book conservator, Laura Young. In
1977, she relocated to accept a position at the Library of Congress
in Washington. At the Library, she was the conservator in charge of
treatment for the architectural drawings for the United States
Capital. Four years later she accepted the position of paper
conservator at the Baltimore Museum of Art where she worked for five
years. Following her appointment at the Baltimore Museum of Art,
Kendra was in private practice until the mid 1990s when ill health
forced her into early retirement.

Kendra had an enormous reserve of curiosity and an insatiable hunger
for knowledge that was not limited to her own conservation
interests. To that end, she amassed an extensive library on book and
paper conservation, paper technology, papermaking, and related
technologies--photography, textiles, printing, printmaking,--with a
special emphasis on the history of paper from the 18th century
onward. It included encyclopedias, scientific and technical
treatises, histories, art books, paper samples, postcards of paper
mills, and periodicals in many languages. Her library was catalogued
and open to all who came in search of information. More likely than
not, it was Kendra who proffered the answer citing chapter and
verse. Her conservation studio was replete with fine hand tools and
unusual finds discovered in far-flung places. It belied Kendra's
packrat instincts, as well. For instance, when the AIC office was
being moved from the Klingle Mansion, she rescued many boxes of back
publications that were being thrown away. Likewise, when the BMA
stripped the Cone Collection galleries of their linen wall covering,
she scavenged the linen in hopes that a paper maker could use it.

With a broad and open face, robust bearing, and generous spirit,
Kendra was a natural teacher and a warm colleague. She lectured for
the students at New York University, accepted interns, and always
spared a moment for fellow conservators, curators, volunteers or
whoever came her way. She was committed to continuing education and
applied the highest standards of professional development to
herself. Thus, each day began with a concentrated period of study
among her beloved books.

As her strength waned, Kendra wanted to see that her tools,
equipment and supplies could be useful. At a time when she was
running out of money, with mounting medical bills, she gave her
workshop and library for the benefit of our field.  With the
assistance of the MacArthur Foundation and the Center for Marine
Conservation, Amparo de Torres arranged for Kendra's workshop to be
given to the National Library of Science and Technology in Cuba. So
great was the donation that many other institutions in Cuba
benefited as well, including the National Archives, the Institute
for Language and Linguistics, the National Library, the Museum of
Cuban Art, and numerous provincial archives and libraries.  The
rescued AIC publications were distributed throughout Latin America.
The AIC President's Commendation Award that was given to Kendra in
2000   acknowledged the gift of her workshop.

Kendra also wanted a place for her library that would meet the
following requirements: The Library should go to 1) a place in the
middle of the country, 2) a place where her collections would be
accessible to both conservators and to the interested public, and 3)
a place that might eventually use her library for the training of
new conservators. The Library was given to the Gerald R. Ford
Conservation Center of the Nebraska State Historical Society in
Omaha, Nebraska early in 2001.

Kendra is survived by her longtime companion, Howard Singleton, of
Pasadena, Maryland and her father, James B. Lovette of Little Rock,

There will be a Memorial Fund for Kendra set up through the AIC.
Please look in the AIC Newsletter for details.

M. Susan Barger with Peggy Ellis and Jeanne Drewes

Project Coordinator,
New Mexico Museum Infrastructure Project
c/o The Museum of New Mexico, TREX
P.O. Box 2087
Santa Fe, NM 87504

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:52
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 12, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-52-001
Received on Wednesday, 12 March, 2003

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Timestamp: Thursday, 26-Jan-2012 15:56:53 PST
Retrieved: Friday, 22-Nov-2019 03:21:48 GMT