SARAH NUNBERG

Art Conservator

272 14th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11215

347-907-4496 · snunberg@aol.com


EDUCATION

Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, NY
Advanced Certificate in Conservation of Works of Art, June 1997

M.A. Art History, June 1996
Yale University, Department of Archaeology, New Haven, CT

M.A. Archaeology, June 1991
Thesis: Manufacturing Technology of Late Classic Maya Polychrome Ceramics
Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

B.A. Anthropology, June 1988
Thesis: Exploring Manufacturing Techniques of Low Fired Pre Columbian Pottery

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Nunberg S. Eckelman M, Hatchfield P. (publication pending) Life Cycle Assessments of Loans and Exhibitions: Three Case Studies at the Museum Fine Arts, Boston. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Nunberg S. Eckelman M, Hatchfield P. (2013) Life Cycle Assessment of Museum Loans, Exhibitions and Lighting: A Case Study at the MFA, Boston. Presentation at: CRCC INHA/INP Cultural Heritage Conservation Science and Sustainable Development Experience, Research and Innovation; Paris, France.

Nunberg S. (2012) New Understandings and Parameters of Four Princeton University Art Museum Maya Vases: Materials, Research, Examination and Conservation Treatment. ed. B. Just, “Dancing into Dreams: Maya Vases of the Ik’ Kingdom.” Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, pp. 221-236.

Nunberg S. (2011) Plastics are Forever: Wraps, Tools, Films and Containers Used in Conservation Practice. AIC News 36, No. 4.

Nunberg S. (2011) Water Purification Methods and Environmental Considerations. AIC News 36, No.2.

Silence P. AIC Green Task Force. (2010) Challenges of Sustainable Conservation in the 21st Century. Presented at General Session, American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 38th Annual Meeting, Milwaukee WI.

Nunberg S. Artal-Isbrand P. (1999) Fill Materials Used in Conservation of Antioch Mosaics at the Worcester Art Museum. Les Mosaques Conserver pour Presenter? ICCM 7th Conference Generale du Comit International Pour la Conservation des Mosaques, November.

Becker L. Nunberg S. (1999) Examination of an Etruscan Ceramic Cinerary Urn. ed. R. Rushfield, “Festschrift for Lawrence Majesky.” New York University, Institute of Fine Arts.

Nunberg S. Heywood A. Wheeler G. (1996) Environmental Control vs. Desalination: Stabilization of an Egyptian Limestone Relief Deteriorating due to Salt Contamination. Desalination of Porous Materials, Journèes d’Ètudes de la SFIIC Poitiers, France, pp. 127-135.

Boccia Paterakis A. Nunberg S. (1996) Determination of the Adequate Desalination of Archaeological Pottery for Stabilization in an Excavation Study Collection. Desalination of Porous Materials, Journèes d’Ètudes de la SFIIC, Poitiers, France, pp. 137-145.

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

Nunberg, S. Kehlet, C. Dittmer, J. Multi-Analytical Study of Synthetic Paint Binders Towards Conservation of a 1977 Louise Nevelson Sculptural Environment. Nanotechnologies for Cultural Conservation: Current Trends and Practices Workshop. October 30-31, 2015, Allentown, PA.
Nunberg S. Eckelman M, Hatchfield P. Life Cycle Assessments: Lighting, HVAC, Loans and Treatments. Conscientious Conservation: Sustainable Choices in Collection Care. AIC 42nd Annual Meeting 2014, San Francisco, CA.
Nunberg S. Del Federico E. William H. Grueby’s Arts and Crafts Pottery Techniques and Glaze Compositions: Surface Examination and Non-destructive In-situ X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis. Presented at 2010 International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Glass and Ceramics Conservation, Corning, NY.
Nunberg S. Sustainable Conservation of William Grueby Wall Panels at El Museo del Barrio. The Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property 35th Annual Conference; Vancouver, British Columbia, 2009.

PROFESSIONAL COMMITTEE WORK,

American Institute for Conservation

Courier Network, 2015: With a group of conservators and registrars, wrote a survey to determine institutional approaches to courier trips and sharing couriers in attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of a loan. Will evaluate the survey results to produce a white paper for AIC.

Planning Committee, 2014 Annual Meeting: Case Studies In Sustainable Collection Care Planning General Session talks and moderator for Case Studies in Sustainable Collection Care session.

Sustainability Committee, 2008-2014, Committee Chair 2010-2013: Relayed activities to the AIC board liaison and prepared committee budget. Worked in groups to publish articles and sustain a wiki page. Organized and moderated the Annual Meeting committee sessions, Linking the Environment and Heritage Conservation: Presentations, Tips and Discussions, 2012 and 2013.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Working Group, Organizer 2012- 2013: Worked in conjunction with Northeastern University environmental engineering professor and his students and Pam Hatchfield at the Museum of Fine Arts to assess the sustainability of loans and exhibitions in museums through LCA.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 2012-2014
Co-taught two classes: “Chemistry of Modern Polymers,” & “Degradation and Preservation of Artists’ Materials.” Guest lecturer “Sustainable Conservation Practices, Materials Research and Conservation Treatment of Maya vessels at Princeton University Art Museum.”

Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ, 2013
Taught a seminar in the conservation laboratory for the workshop series “Art History and Conservation Science.” As a guest lecturer, presented: “Conservation and Materials Research of Maya Vessels in Preparation for Exhibition, Dancing into Dreams.”

New York University, Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center, New York, NY, 2012-2014 Guest lecturer “Conservation Treatment and Materials Research of Classic Maya Ceramic Vessels at Princeton University Art Museum.” Bridgewater University, Bridgewater, MA, 2010

Guest lecturer for undergraduate anthropology classes. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, 2006 & 2009 Reader and conservation consultant for a senior honor’s thesis on pre-Columbian ceramics. Visiting lecturer for an undergraduate class in Mesoamerican studies.

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, 2002 Trained curators, art handlers and fine art packers to pack and move the collection of 8,000 objects.

GRANT REVIEWER

Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2012, 2015

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION/WORKSHOPS ATTENDED

Nanotechnologies for Cultural Conservation: Current Trends and Practices Workshop. Allentown, PA (October 30-31, 2015).

XRF Quantitative Workshop with Bruce Kaiser. Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2015).

XRF Workshop with Bruce Kaiser. Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ (2015).

ExhibitSEED Professional Development Workshop. Philadelphia, PA (2013).

Image Permanence Institute Sustainable Preservation Practices Workshop II. Philadelphia, PA (2013).

Environmental Management: Stewardship & Sustainability. Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Philadelphia, PA (2012).

Injection Grouts for the Conservation of Architectural Surfaces Workshop. The Getty Conservation Institute (2012).

Adhesives for Conservation. AIC J. Paul Getty Villa, Los Angeles, CA (2006).

FIELD WORK 

Field conservator, Agora Excavation, Athens, Greece, July - August 1995.
Studied traditional pottery methods under Maya potters, Chiapas, Mexico, June - July 1990.
Archaeologist, Copan Ruinas, Honduras, January-July 1989.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS

Funds for American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2006.
Levy Travel Grant, Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1996.
Albers Fund, Yale University, 1991.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Professional Associate

MUSEUM TRAINING, 1991-1998

Worcester Art Museum, Conservation Laboratory, Worcester, MA
The National Museum of the American Indian, Conservation Department, Bronx, NY
The Brooklyn Museum, Department of Conservation, Brooklyn, NY
American Museum of Natural History, Department of Conservation, New York, NY
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Department of Conservation, Richmond, VA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sherman Fairchild Objects Conservation, New York, NY

PRIVATE PRACTICE 

The Objects Conservation Studio, LLC, Brooklyn, NY, Founder and Principal, 1998-Present

Specializing in conservation of archeological, ethnographic, contemporary and decorative arts objects. Services include condition assessments, courier transport, packing /exhibition/storage requirements consultant, and collections surveys.

RECENT PROJECTS, 2001-Present

Louise Nevelson Chapel of the Good Shepherd, Saint Peter's Church, New York, NY

  • Carried out archival research concerning Nevelson's working techniques.
  • Environmental monitoring to determine proper course for environmental management.  Collaborating with engineer/architect Michael Henry. 
  • Paint analysis to determine cause of deterioration.  Working with chemists Chris McGlinchy, MoMA, and Dr. Cindie Kehlet, Pratt Institute. 
  • Treatment planning including tests for consolidation, cleaning and environmental management.
  • Fundraising: working with members of the congregation to apply for grants and discuss funding with private donors.
  • Presentations to congregation and private donors to discuss the proposed treatment plan and relay research to date. 

 

The Princeton Art Museum, Princeton, NJ

  • Prepared classic Maya ceramic vessels for exhibition, Dancing into Dreams: Maya Vases of the Ik’ Kingdom.
  • Collaborative research project: Coordinated MFA Boston conservators and Princeton University students and professors to identify classic Maya ceramic slip components and application methods.
  • Cleaned and stabilized two life-size baroque wooden, polychrome and gilt statues.

 

Thomas Edison National Historic Park, Orange, NJ

Collection of 10,000 Original Copper and Nickel Plated Copper Phonographic Discs 

  • Collaborated with the curator to design new permanent storage.
  • Designed microclimates to preserve newly opened copper masters. 
  • Conducted cleaning tests to devise proper cleaning methods for playback of the phonographic discs. 

 

Public Design Commission, City of New York

  • Examined large-scale stone and steel structures for condition in preparation for move.
  • Submitted detailed reports documenting the condition.

 

Department of Design and Construction, City of New York

  • Treated 23 William Grueby ceramic tile wall pavements at El Museo del Barrio.

 

Harmon Fine Arts, New York, NY

  • Treated collection of over 100 ancient Greek marble figures. 
  • Supervised packing and moving 200 archaeological objects, eight masterpiece impressionist and contemporary paintings.
  • Coordinated conservation of the paintings.
  • Coordinated mount making and reinstallation of the entire collection.

 

The American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY

  • Prepared Chinese ceramics, Japanese stone and metal objects for exhibition.

 

The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

  • Prepared Egyptian bronzes and painted wooden panels for loan.
  • Examined, treated, and surveyed a collection of contemporary chairs and lights.

 

Museum for African Art, New York, NY 

  • Courier for the exhibition: Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art.
  • Treated ceramic and wood sculptures by contemporary African ceramicist, El Anatsui.
  • Examined and treated a North African jewelry collection.

 

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT 

  • Repaired Asian lacquer, wood, stone, ceramic, and metal archaeological objects.
  • Cleaned, stabilized five 2nd-century mosaics from Gerasa, Jordan.  
  • Cleaned American silver collection of over 200 objects.
  • Surveyed the collection of 8,000 objects to prepare for packing, move and storage.
  • Cleaned and repaired 19th and 20th century American ceramics.
  • Dismantled a period room of 3rd century wall paintings from Dura Europos.

 

Peabody Museum, Yale University, New Haven, CT

  • Prepared North American wooden, stone, bone and skin artifacts for exhibition, worked with collections manager, exhibition designer, and mount makers to plan the installation.

 

Additional Clients

Ancient Art of the New World, New York, NY, Miami, FL
British Art Center, Yale University, New Haven CT
Collection of Shelby White and Leon Levy, New York, NY
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Harmon Fine Arts, New York, NY
Louis Armstrong House Museum, Queens, NY
Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY
New York Historical Society, New York, NY
Kenneth Schacter Rove Gallery, London, UK
Sandra Gering Gallery, New York, NY
Scroll and Key Society at Yale University, New Haven, CT
University of Hartford Art Museum, Hartford, CT
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT