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MoMA appoints Kate Lewis as Chief Conservator of the Museum’s David Booth Conservation Center

United States Architecture News - Feb 06, 2017 - 11:47   14185 views

MoMA appoints Kate Lewis as Chief Conservator of the Museum’s David Booth Conservation Center

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has appointed Kate Lewis as The Agnes Gund Chief Conservator for the Museum’s David Booth Conservation Center and Department. 

For this program, Kate Lewis will provide key professional and intellectual leadership for the Museum’s well-established conservation program; oversee the department’s strategic planning and facilities; assess and apply new technologies for treatment and research; collaborate closely with curatorial and senior staff across the Museum; and manage all aspects of collection care, documentation, and research work. Ms. Lewis succeeds James Coddington, who retired last December.

A versatile museum conservator with two decades of experience across conservation specialties including paper, photographs, and time-based media, Ms. Lewis has served as MoMA’s Media Conservator since 2013. 

As Chief Conservator, she will continue to oversee a major initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for long-term preservation strategies of media-based works. The five-year program, begun in 2016, centers on training post-graduate fellows and a robust program of collaborative professional training.

''I am confident that Kate will provide exemplary leadership to the Museum’s Conservation Department in order to ensure that its vital work will continue in advancing our state-of-the-art conservation program, and in developing the most innovative conservation practice and scientific research,'' said MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry. 

''I am thrilled and honored to be given this opportunity, and am very grateful to the staff and trustees who have entrusted me with this position,'' said Ms. Lewis. 

''This is an exciting time for conservation at MoMA, thanks to the exceptional generosity of the recent endowment by David Booth, and I look forward to building upon the department's reputation for excellence. Over the past three years, I have gained great respect for my conservation colleagues and am eager to support them in my new role.''

Ms. Lewis brings to this position a strong background and extensive experience as a media conservator. From 2005 to 2013 she was a time-based media conservator at Tate, London. At MoMA, she has focused on documentation, expanding best practices for storage and exhibition of media works, and oversaw the successful implementation of a new digital repository.

Her experience also includes collaboration in international projects focused on education and advocacy, including the TechFocus Workshop series organized by the American Institute for Conservation’s Electronic Media Group, providing detailed technical education in media art, and Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA) a non-profit organization addressing the production, presentation, and preservation of contemporary art through dialogue with artists. 

She is a graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London with a B.A. in Art History (1994) and earned her M.A. with distinction in the Conservation of Works of Art on Paper (1997) from the University of Northumbria, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Top image: Kate Lewis, The Agnes Gund Chief Conservator of The David Booth Conservation Center and Department, The Museum of Modern Art, NY. Photo: Scott Rudd

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