Volume 15, Number 1, Jan. 1993, pp.27-28

Conservation Profile: Denver, Colorado

by Carmen F. Bria, Jr.

The Denver conservation community is pleased to be hosting the 1993 Annual Meeting of AIC. The local arrangements committee has already been working hard to insure that your stay is lively and fun as well as informative.

There are several conservators and conservation facilities in the area. Following is a brief introduction to each conservation professional in the Denver region.

Carolyn Leckie is the most recent conservator to arrive in Denver. She took the position as conservator for the Denver Museum of Natural History in July of 1992. Prior to that, Carolyn was associated with the Canadian Conservation Institute for three years, working on contracts relating to CCI's natural history needs and long range planning goals. She is a 1989 graduate of the Art Conservation Program at Queens University, specializing in Objects Conservation. Carolyn is presently Co-chair of the Conservation Committee of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections.

Karen Jones studied hand bookbinding in New Haven, Connecticut. She has a BFA from the University of Connecticut. Since moving to Colorado in 1980, she has interned at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center in Denver and at Johns Hopkins University Bindery. Since 1981, Karen has been employed at Jefferson County Public Library in Lakewood, Colorado (a Denver suburb) as preservation officer/book conservator, conserving special collection books and documents, organizing disaster response, and holding workshops for staff and patrons. She is chair-elect of the Colorado Preservation Alliance, chair of the Mountain Plains Library Association preservation section, and editor of a column on preservation for Colorado Libraries. Karen also has had a private conservation practice since 1981; a recent commission was the conservation of the Colorado State Constitution.

Jeanne Brako founded Art Conservation Services, a small business focussing on the care and conservation of organic artifacts (textiles, ethnographic artifacts, etc.), in 1988. Art Conservation Services is located in the same facility as Jeanne's husband's business, Robert Mann Oriental Rug Restoration. Jeanne is also employed as conservator/collections manager at the Colorado Historical Society. Previous to 1988, Jeanne was head textile conservator at the Rocky Mountain Conservation Center. A long-time AIC member, Jeanne received her conservation training through apprenticeships and graduate study at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts.

Laura Wait came to Denver in 1981 and established Wait Bookbinding following five years of training in traditional bookbinding techniques. She currently treats books, maps and parchment and does fine bookbinding for private and institutional clients throughout the mountain states region. Laura is an Associate member of AIC and a member of the Books and Paper Specialty Group.

Jane Dalrymple-Hollo came to Denver in 1988 following three years at the Brigham Young University Conservation Department with Robert Espinosa. She currently does private paper conservation on contract in the Denver area as well as library preservation/archives work under a grant she procured for the Naropa Institute library in Boulder, Colorado. Jane is an AIC Professional Associate and a member of the Books and Paper Specialty Group.

Chloe MacDonald has been in Denver for over 20 years and has held her present position as Library Technician for the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library since 1989. She is an Associate Member of AIC and a member of both the Books and Paper and the Photographic Materials Specialty Groups.

Carl Patterson came to Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center (RMRCC) in 1979 as Chief Conservator following a ten year stay in England. While abroad, Carl trained at the Institute of Archaeology at the University of London and worked at both the British Museum and the Horniman Museum. In 1983 he became Director of RMRCC and stayed until 1990 when he took the position of Museum Conservator at the Denver Museum of Natural History. Carl is presently Head of the Conservation Department at the Denver Art Museum, a post he has held since September of 1991.

Connie Wanke is a 1976 graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program with training in both paper and paintings conservation. She spent two years at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden before arriving in Denver in 1979. Connie was Head of the Paper Conservation Department at RMRCC from 1979 to 1982. Connie's private practice, Colorado Conservation Center, was established in 1982 and specializes in works of art on paper and paintings.

The Rocky Mountain Conservation Center, formerly RMRCC, is a non- profit art conservation lab affiliated with the University of Denver. It was established in 1977 with grants from NEA and several foundations and is one of 12 allied regional conservation laboratories in the United States. RMCC is directed by Lori Mellon, an art historian with substantial fundraising and administrative experience in art museums and historical societies.

RMCC is staffed by four conservators:

Judy Greenfield, Objects Conservator, has been employed by RMCC since February of 1990. Judy was trained in Durham, England and holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeological Conservation from Durham University (1989; equivalent to an MSc). Last summer Judy served as the site conservator for an archaeological dig at an Italic city in Calabria, Italy. She is an AIC Associate.

M. Randall "Randy" Ash, Head of Painting Conservation, is a Fellow of AIC with over 25 years of experience in conservation of fine art in museums, regional labs, and in private practice. She recently returned from a five-month sojourn in LaPaz, Bolivia, on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Cynthia Kuniej Berry is Associate Conservator of Paintings. Prior to joining RMCC in July of 1991, Cynthia held a Mellon Fellowship at the Art Institute of Chicago. She holds a master's degree from the State College at Buffalo, New York, in Paintings Conservation and is a Professional Associate of AIC.

Paul Messier joined RMCC in October of 1991 as Conservator of Photographic Materials and Works of Art on Paper. He came to Denver from the Smithsonian's Conservation Analytical Laboratory where he conducted primary research on albumen photographs. Paul holds a master's degree from the State College at Buffalo, New York in Conservation of Works of Art on Paper, with additional training at the University of Delaware/Winterthur. He is an Associate member of AIC.

Western Center for Conservation of Fine Arts (WCCFA), a private paintings and paper lab in Denver, was established in 1980 as Western Paintings Conservation.

WCCFA founder, Emmett Carl Grimm, is a 1978 graduate of the Winterthur/University of Delaware program. He was chief paintings conservator at Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center from 1978 to 1981, and director of WCCFA until 1988. Since 1988, Carl has been guest conservator for one year each at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Doerner-Institut in Munich; he is currently a Mellon Fellow PhD Candidate in the University of Delaware's Program in Art Conservation Research. Carl is a Fellow of both AIC and IIC.

Carmen F. Bria, Jr., WCCFA's chief paintings conservator, is a 1983 graduate of the Winterthur/University of Delaware conservation program and a Professional Associate of AIC. He returned to Denver as associate paintings conservator at Western Paintings Conservation, now WCCFA, in 1983.

In 1990 WCCFA added paper conservation headed by Robert A. McCarroll. Bob began his 25-plus years of experience and specialized training in the conservation field in Canada. From 1984 to 1989 he was head of RMRCC's paper department. He is an AIC Professional Associate and an Associate of IIC.

Camilla Van Vooren joined the WCCFA staff as paintings conservator in 1991. She received her MS from Winterthur/ University of Delaware in 1990 and interned at the J. Paul Getty Museum prior to coming to Denver.

Penny Nabity has been business manager for WCCFA since 1983. A Denver native, Penny has an expertise in tax accounting and a degree in Fine Arts from the Chicago Art Institute.

We look forward to seeing you in Denver in 1993!

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