Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award

Nomination Form

Deadline: December 15th

This award recognizes a sustained record of excellence in the education and training of conservation professionals.

Candidate should have a readily accepted mentoring role, providing advice,
consultation, and motivation to beginners, nonacademic trainees with high craft
skills, practitioners who wish to broaden their skills, or conservation students at
all levels. Candidate must be an AIC Fellow or Professional Associate.

Following are the specific criteria to be addressed in the nomination form and
letters of support:

  1. The introduction of pre-program applicants into a private, regional, or museum conservation laboratory to explain the basics of conservation procedures, approaches, and ethics in any specialty, including conservation science.
  2. The organization and supervision of internship and apprenticeship training in any specialty.
  3. The instruction of students at a college or university in pre-program preparatory conservation program, a master’s level program, or a doctoral program.
  4. The organization and teaching of courses and workshops.

Past Recipients:

Marian Kaminitz, Jonathan Thornton: 2013
Cathleen Baker, Cleo Mullins: 2012
Thomas M. Edmondson, Nancy Heugh: 2011
Betsy Palmer Eldridge, Bruno Pouliot, 2010
Nancy Odegaard, Ellen Pearlstein, and Thornton Rockwell: 2009
Craigen Bowen (P) and Terry Drayman-Weisser: 2008
James Bernstein, Debra Evans, John Krill, and Martin Radecki: 2007
Catharine Hawks and Nora Kennedy: 2006
Irene Brückle and Martin Weaver (P): 2005
Debra Hess Norris: 2004
Margaret Holben Ellis: 2003
Molly Ann Faries and Virginia Greene: 2001
Christa Gaehde and José Orraca: 2000
Roy Perkinson: 1999
Bernard Rabin and Sidney Williston: 1998
F. Christopher Tahk: 1997
Bettina Jessell and Mary Wood Lee: 1996
Elisabeth Cornu: 1995
Dan Kushel and Perry C. Huston: 1994

About the Kecks

Sheldon and Caroline Keck met on a course on the now famous "Methods and Processes in the Fine Arts," also known as the "egg and plaster" course, taught by Edward Waldo Forbes and George Stout. They married in 1933. Sheldon Waugh Keck (1910-1993) graduated from Harvard in 1932, majoring in art history and became an apprentice at the Fogg Art Museum. Caroline K. Keck (1908-2007) studied at Vassar and Harvard, and began a doctorate in Berlin in the early 1930s, returning to the US when the Nazis came to power. In 1934, Sheldon Keck was appointed the first conservator at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, and together he and Caroline worked from a laboratory in State Street, Brooklyn, where they became involved in the training of conservators. In 1954, the Kecks arranged the exhibition “Take Care” at the Brooklyn Museum, which emphasized current techniques for the examination and treatment of paintings. The exhibition featured their film, A Future for the Past, which was a pioneer use of moving images within a museum gallery setting. Mrs. Keck was especially proud of the EPC “Exposition of Painting Conservation” at the Brooklyn Museum October 22-26, 1962, which she called “a dream for many years.” In 1969, the Kecks, under the auspices of UNESCO, established the Latin American Center for Conservation of Cultural property in Mexico City. In addition, they were instrumental in founding the first master's level course in art conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in 1960, and to inaugurate and run the Cooperstown Graduate Program from 1969. In 1987,  they established a fund for the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation (FAIC) through the sale of  a Georgia O’Keeffe painting in their personal collection. Its earnings continue to support day-to-day FAIC activities as well as the Individual Professional Development Scholarships that are awarded yearly.


Boothroyd Brooks, Hero. A Short History of IIC: Foundation and Development. London: The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2000.

Hill Stoner, Joyce, 2007. Caroline K. Keck (1908–2007). AIC News Vol. 33, Number 2 (March 2008).

Sack, Susanne P., 1993. A Tribute to Sheldon Keck. AIC News Vol. 18, Number 5 (September 1993).

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