Preventive Conservation

June 3 - 16, 2017
Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburgh, NY
Instructors: David Bayne, Cathy Mackenzie, Kirsten Schoonmaker, Michelle Smith

The east façade of Staatsburgh. Photo courtesy of Andrew Halpern


This 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 3rd – 16th, 2017. 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. Students 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 program is designed for pre-program conservation students or early career conservation professionals who have not participated in a conservation master's program.

Application Process

To apply to participate in the workshop, please fill out the Preventive Conervation Workshop Application through our online review site. Applications must be received by March 15, 2017. Notifications will be made by April 1, 2017.

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

Applications are no longer being accepted for this course.

Workshop Logistics

There is no registration fee and participants will receive a travel stipend. Housing and meals are provided to successful applicants. Participants should use the Rhinecliff station if traveling via Amtrak. Housing will be in dorms on the nearby Bard College campus. There will be time in the evenings for additional discussion between participants and instructors. A stipend will offset the cost of meals which will be cooked and eaten together as a group. Daily transportation to and from Bard College to the workshop site will be provided.

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 Associate
(202) 661-8071

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