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Personnel


RUSTIN LEVENSON, President and Founder, New York and Miami: B.A. Wellesley College; Diploma in Paintings Conservation, Fogg Art Museum, and Harvard University. Conservation staff of the Fogg Museum (1969-1973), the Canadian Conservation Institute (1973-1974); The National Gallery of Canada (1974-1977); and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (1977-1980). She has co-authored with art historian, Andrea Kirsh, Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies (Yale University Press, 2000) and written chapters for The Expert vs. the Object (Oxford University Press, 2004) and the upcoming Painting Conservation Book to be published by Buttersworth Press. Her published articles include “Emergency Conservation,” “Adhesives for Strip-Lining Twentieth Century Paintings,” “A New Method for Strip-Lining Easel Paintings,” “Useful Modifications for Current Lining Techniques,” and “Up in Smoke, the treatment of fire damaged paintings.” She is a Fellow both in the American Institute for Conservation and The International Institute for Conservation, and has served on numerous professional committees as well as chairing the Paintings Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation.

HARRIET IRGANG ALDEN, Conservation Director, New York: B.A. Brooklyn college; M.A. Art History and Diploma in Conservation, Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Internships at the Hispanic Society of America, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Harriet Irgang joined the Associates in 1984. Her publications include “Considering Artists’ Intent in the Public Arena”, “’Shade of Faith: the Conservation of a Painted Sukkah Decoration” (in collaboration with Judith  Eisenberg, Textile Conservator), and a book review for Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. Among talks and presentations, she has lectured at the College Art Association on “Conservation Collaborations: Working with Artists” and to the Historic Districts Council Annual Meeting on “The Restoration and Preservation of Murals.” She has supervised an international array of interns and post-graduate trainees. In 1998 she was invited by the Stichting Kollektief Restauratie Atelier of Amsterdam to spend 3 months treating paintings from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Since 2004 she has traveled as a contract conservator for the Guggenheim Museum. She holds Professional Associate status in the American Institute for Conservation and is a member of the International Institute for Conservation. She has served on the steering committee of the New York Conservation Association and is presently the Vice-President of the New York Regional Association for Conservation. In 2004 her participation in the IIC congress on modern art in Bilbao, Spain was made possible by a professional development grant from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation. In 2007 she lectured as an adjunct instructor to students of the Conservation Center of New York Universtiy, Institute of Fine Arts. 

RALPH AUGSBURGER: B.A. School of Commerce, Geneva, Switzerland; Certificate in Art History and Decorative Arts, Centre d’Etudes Classique, Geneva, Switzerland. In 1996, Ralph Augsburger joined the Associates after twelve years of experience in the conservation of paintings, polychrome sculpture, and murals. He has worked for Ateliers Gunther Holweger and T.A. Hermanès in Geneva and for Ateliers Nouaille and Xavier Huisse in Paris. From 1991 to 1994, he was contracted by Ateliers Myriam Chataignère for the conservation of sculptures at the Musée de Louvre in Paris. Since joining the Associates, Ralph has lectured at the New York Regional Association for Conservation on “Modern Paintings That Travel: Custom-Fitting Non-Adhered Supports” and has participated in workshops and seminars dealing with lining techniques, cleaning methods, and varnishes. Ralph holds membership in the Swiss Conservation Society and Professional Associate status in the American Institute for Conservation.
 
JEAN DOMMERMUTH: B.A. University of Illinois; M.A. Art History and Diploma in Conservation, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Jean joined the Associates in 1999. After receiving her degree in conservation, Jean completed an internship focusing on treatment of old master paintings at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge, England, and has worked in several other private and museum conservation studios. Her involvement with the Acton Collection, Villa La Pietra, New York University, Florence, began in 1996 when she spent two years in residence there as a Samuel H. Kress Fellow. Since her return to New York she has continued to act as a conservation consultant for the paintings collection at La Pietra and to teach as an Institute Lecturer for the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts. She has published on the painting techniques of artists including Sebastiano del Piombo and Giacomo Ceruti and lectured on the treatment of collections in historic houses. Jean holds Professional Associate status in the American Institute for Conservation.
 
Yeonjoo KimYEONJOO KIM: B.S. in Chemistry, Catholic University, Seoul, Korea; Studies in Art History and Studio Art, University of Delaware; M.A. in Paintings Conservation, Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Prior to earning her degree, Yeonjoo interned at the Château de Parentignat and at the Atelier du Livre in France. Yeonjoo’s graduate studies included a final year internship with the Associates from 2006 to 2007. After working for three years with private conservation firms specializing in easel painting conservation and interior building conservation, Yeonjoo re-joined the Associates in 2010. For the Associates Yeonjoo has conserved a large scale, 18th c. Spanish Colonial altarpiece painting, taken part in the team effort to conserve the Old King Cole mural by Maxfield Parrish at the St. Regis Hotel, conserved two portable murals from the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, and treated several paintings, for example, a portrait by Charles Wilson Peale from the SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah, GA) collection of American 17th and 18th c. art. Yeonjoo holds Associate membership in the American Institute for Conservation and the International Council of Museums.
 
VERONICA ROMERO: B.A. University of Pennsylvania. Veronica studied conservation at La Academia in Florence, Italy and worked with conservator Lorenzo Casamenti. Projects in Italy included treatment of the Andrea del Sarto murals in the Church of Pisa. Veronica has worked at Rustin Levenson Art Conservation Associates since 2004. In 2008 Veronica spoke to the Paintings Conservation Group at the American Institute for Conservation on methods for flattening textured contemporary paintings. At the AIC meeting in 2009 she was co-presenter of a paper on the treatment of smoke damaged paintings.
 
 

Joel SchechterJOEL SCHECHTER, Administrative Assistant and Studio Systems Specialist: University of Hartford, Bachelors Business Management. Joel re-joined the Associates in 2008 when he returned to New York City from Massachusetts after a ten-year hiatus. Joel brings strong organizational and technical skills to his efforts. From 1975 to 1992, Joel was Vice President and General Manager of Palais Jewelers Corp. in New York City and Miami. His technical skills were honed during almost two decades of renovation of historic homes and lofts in Florida and New York City and assisting a master electrician in Massachusetts. For the Associates Joel provides support to the conservation team in both administrative and technical areas by providing client interface, maintaining registration records, assisting with preparation of bid proposals, overseeing equipment maintenance, maintaining the computer network, organizing space use, updating the supply inventory, and being responsible for stable environmental control.
 

OLIVER WATKISS, Senior Conservator. Oliver has recently arrived from the UK where he was Principal Conservator and Director at Lydeway Conservation Ltd. In 2011 Oliver received Professional Accreditation of Conservator-Restorers (PACR) in the UK. His training includes a five year apprenticeship at the International Conservation Studios Ltd. as well as academic courses at the Courtauld Institute of Fine Art. His research dissertation in the lining and structural treatment of paintings was titled “A Study of Contemporary Lining Adhesives and Their Comparable Properties and Suitability under Different Climatic Circumstances.” 
 

KELLY O’NEILL, Conservator. BA University of Florida MA University of Florida, Museum Studies MA Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Art Conservation. Kelly has worked both part time and full time with Rustin Levenson Art Conservation since 2004. In 2012 Kelly worked in the Conservation Department of the National Gallery of Canada. In 2009 she was co-presenter of a paper on the treatment of smoke damaged paintings to the American Institute for Conservation annual meeting. Her extensive research on William Aiken Walker is part of the archives of the Florida History Museum in Tallahassee, FL.

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