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The New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has generously awarded the Buffalo State College Foundation two grants totaling $543,000 to support and enhance the college’s Art Conservation Department.
The first grant of $228,000 will enable the department to hire a resident professional in the art conservation world who has expressed interest in teaching. The resident professional will co-teach courses with a current member of the art conservation faculty, help develop new course materials, and conduct research in their specific area of art conservation. A key component of the position will be mentoring, which is a cornerstone of the Mellon Foundation’s vision for these fellowships.
“This is the first time in over a decade that our department has received specific funding for a resident,” said Patrick Ravines, associate professor and director of art conservation. “It’s very exciting.”
Buffalo State has begun a national search for the position, which it intends to fill in the fall of 2012.
The second grant of $315,000 is intended to increase support for students in the three-year graduate program. The grant will cover 30 students per year for three years and will assist the program with attracting high-quality students.
“There has not been a raise in stipends for four or five years. It’s much needed,” said Meredeth Lavelle, program manager in the department.
Founded in 1970, Buffalo State’s Art Conservation Department is one of the leading graduate programs of its kind in North America. Accepting only 10 students a year, the competitive program trains conservators of fine art and material cultural heritage. Program graduates can be found in the conservation labs of major institutions across the United States, including the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The Mellon Foundation also awarded the Buffalo State College Foundation a $328,000 grant in the fall of 2011 to enhance the Art Conservation Department’s library and archive conservation program.
“We are extremely grateful to the Mellon Foundation for these grants and all the support it has provided us over the years to help develop the next generation of art conservators,” Ravines said. “We are proud of what our graduates have accomplished and only expect to see more contributions to this field in the future.”
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