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News from RCA/V&A Conservation

Alison Richmond
Deputy Head, RCA/V&A Conservation

For RCA/V&A Conservation, the academic year 2002/2003 began on a high note. Having had two MA students short-listed for the UK’s 2002 Student Conservator of the Year Award, we were delighted that the award was given to Kathryn Hallett. Kathryn studied Conservation Science with The British Museum and she received the prize of £5000 for her work on the effects of light on ethnographic collections. The £5000 awarded to the teaching institution was shared by The British Museum, in recognition of the quality of supervision and training delivered by Dr Susan Bradley and her team, and the Royal College of Art. Collaborations with national museums are one of the ways RCA/V&A Conservation provides tailor-made studentships.

RCA/V&A Conservation offers postgraduate training, education and research opportunities through partnership with the Victoria and Albert Museum and collaboration with several other museums, heritage and research organisations. This is illustrated well by the four graduates of 2003:

  • Camilla Schaper, MA Sculpture Conservation, based in the Sculpture Section of the Conservation Department, and supervised by Charlotte Hubbard.
  • Nanke Schellmann, MA Furniture Conservation, based in the Furniture Section and supervised by Albert Neher.
  • Vicky Doran, MPhil Composition Frames, researched the collections of the V&A.
  • Pedro Gaspar, PhD Cleaning of Stone and Terracotta, based in Sculpture Conservation and in Imperial College, also assisted in the supervision of Camilla Schaper’s Research Project on laser cleaning of plaster.

The last year has been marked by a number of changes in staff. Helen Jones, who had been with the Course almost from its inception, left to become the V&A’s Planning Manager. Helen’s contribution to the development of the Programme is impossible to measure. Her vitality and imagination, as well as her enviable problem solving skills will be missed. Alison Richmond moved into Helen’s post of Deputy Head, and at the time of writing the Tutor post is yet to be filled. Dr Alison Bracker has been appointed Research Fellow in Conservation Contexts, and Dr Vincent Daniels has taken up the post of Research Fellow in Conservation Science.

RCA/V&A Conservation aims to offer MA studentships in specialist areas in which there is little or no provision elsewhere. In 2003/2004 ourfirst ever MA student in the Conservation of Natural History Collections begins her studies in the Conservation Unit of the Natural History Museum. We believe that this is the first such MA anywhere.

We also have the pleasure of announcing another first: a Friends of the V&A Bursary for Conservation. This award has been given to Anna Kagiadaki, who begins her MA in Sculpture Conservation at the V&A. The Friends have supported students for many years, but this gift is the first fully-funded studentship. We couldn’t be more delighted with this development.

Visit: www.rca.ac.uk

Contact: Joanna.Baden@rca.ac.uk