Sculpture Conservation Students Go Hands-On at Pocantico

  • The three students writing reports at the dining table of the Marcel Breuer House, which also hosts scholars- and artists-in-residence.
  • The students performing an examination and cleaning of the copper sculpture 'Calligraph KC', by Herbert Ferber, 1963-64.
  • The students visiting The Cloisters’ conservation lab and gallery with Senior Conservator Lucretia Kargère (left).

Art conservation and restoration students from three universities in Mexico spent three weeks in residence at The Pocantico Center this spring. On-site at Kykuit, the Rockefeller family estate, the students worked alongside Arnaldo Ugarte, sculpture conservation technician for the historic site, expanding their knowledge of the care of outdoor sculpture. They also made site visits to other collections, museums, and studios in the area, including the conservation lab and galleries at The Cloisters where Senior Conservator Lucretia Kargère gave them insight into her work.

The conservator residency program, in collaboration with the Mexican Cultural Institute in NY, which generously supports their travel, is in its eighth year, and has not only given students the opportunity to work with sculptures of stone, bronze, and other metals, but it has also created a network among young people starting out in the profession—17 to date. The three 2017 student conservators-in-residence, María Fernanda Gómez Núñez of ENCRyM (Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografia) in Mexico City, Alejandra Villarreal Aldrete of ECRO (la Escuela de Conservación y Restauración de Occidente) in Guadalajara, and Bárbara Rocha Loza from Facultad del Hábitat UASLP (Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosi), were each nominated by faculty at their respective universities.

The RBF’s stewardship of the Pocantico Historic Area includes overseeing the maintenance, care, conservation, and restoration of the historic buildings, gardens, and collections of decorative and fine art. Located 20 miles north of Manhattan in Tarrytown, The Pocantico Center is managed by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as part of its agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.