Preventive Conservation

June 3 - 16, 2018
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburgh, NY
Instructors: David Bayne, Cathy Mackenzie, Kirsten Schoonmaker, Michelle Smith, Valentine Talland

The Main Hall at Staatsburgh


The immersive and hands-on workshop will take place at Staatsburgh State Historic Site in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. Eight participants will work closely with instructors during the two-week workshop, scheduled for June 3 – 16, 2018. The workshop will draw on the perspective of a housekeeper working in a historic house. Since the housekeeper is the primary person interacting with the entire collection on a daily basis, he or she is in the best position to assess the environment and the condition of a historic collection. The group will take on the deep cleaning of a space in the historic interior, including moving furniture, rolling and vacuuming a carpet and assessing the decorative arts objects. Hands-on activities will be complemented by lectures and site visits to other historic properties. Participants will be expected to write a blog post for the Staatsburgh website on a topic of their choosing at the close of the workshop. This is an opportunity geared towards pre-program conservation students or those considering a career in conservation.

Application Process

To apply to participate in the workshop, please fill out the Preventive Conservation Workshop Application through our online review site. Applications must be received by April 1, 2018. Notifications will be made by April 15, 2018.

To initiate the application, you will be asked to enter your email address to see if you already have an account in the system (this should be the case if you are an AIC member). If you have an email address in our system, you will then be asked to enter your password (the same password you use to log in to the AIC website). If you do not have an account in our system, you will be asked to set one up before you begin your application.

The application will require:
  1. Applicant Information (name, contact information)
  2. Upload CV/resume (PDF format preferred)
  3. Letter of Interest
You may save your application and return later to complete it. When you are satisfied with your responses, click on the "Save and submit" button.

Apply to Participate

Click here to apply to participate in this workshop.

Workshop Logistics

The Hudson Valley region is accessible by train with Amtrak and Metro North railroads. Housing will be in shared rooms in dorms on a nearby college campus, with the housing cost covered by the workshop.  Daily transportation to and from the workshop site will be provided by van. A $350 per person stipend will offset the cost of meals, which will be cooked and eaten together as a group. There is no registration fee and the participants will each receive a $200 travel stipend. As stipulated by the funding source, first consideration will be given to citizens of the United States.

About the Site

Staatsburgh is a New York State Historic Site located along the banks of the Hudson River about half way between New York City and Albany. The house, the county estate of the Mills family, was built in 1832 and expanded under the direction of McKim, Mead and White in the 1890’s. Today the house is surrounded by the Mills-Norrie State Park which preserves a portion of the original grounds and beautiful views of the Hudson River. The interiors are emblematic of the opulence of Gilded Age high society. The patterns of deterioration of the decorative arts materials in the interior are typical of historic house museums from this time period across the country and will be used to showcase the importance of preventative conservation.


Funding for this program comes from a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Contact: Sarah Saetren
FAIC Education Coordinator
(202) 661-8071