Art History Student to Attend Conservation Workshop
Dani Sheridan Stanford is a BA student studying Art History at the UT School of Art. They are also pursuing a Minor in Studio Art and have, this semester, been an Arts and Collections Intern at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.
The School congratulates Stanford who was accepted to the Andrew W. Mellon Opportunity for Diversity in Conservation Summer Workshop to be held in Los Angeles in summer 2023. This is a very competitive workshop run by the UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage.
Dani Stanford is originally from Jackson, TN, and came to the UTK School of Art with an interest in studying ceramics. They enjoy contemporary ceramics, especially because it is a collaborative form bringing together making art with practical use. Over the course of time here, they gravitated toward art history. “Art History is well-rounded,” they state. “I enjoy taking all the classes, but I particularly prefer baroque art and late renaissance.” Dani has developed an interest in art conservation partly through classes and through their observations at the McClung Museum.
Stanford heard about the Mellon opportunity through Anna Serotta associate conservator from the Metropolitan Museum in NYC who did a deinstallation at the McClung and spoke to Stanford about conservation work and how this program introduces students and recent graduates from historically underrepresented communities to the field of cultural heritage conservation, a field that engages with both artistic and scientific understanding of materials and their meanings.
Suzanne Wright, professor of art history, encouraged Stanford to apply to the program as did mentors at the McClung Museum. Both Dani Stanford and Suzanne Wright were thrilled when they received the news that Stanford had been accepted to this program.
Because the museum field has begun to emphasize the need to diversify, many institutions are searching for diverse educational pipelines into curatorial, conservation, and other art museum careers. Stanford says that she hopes the experience in this summer workshop will inform them about such things as repatriation efforts and about the technical work involved with conservation and will lay the groundwork to eventually work with museums, first in conservation and cultural heritage, and perhaps later, working with smaller underserved communities that need help with fund raising. “I don’t see myself changing the world,” says Stanford, “but I do want to help preserve the world of art that is already available.”