Abbey Teller

Abigail constructs four-flap folders for Brewster & Co. Carriages working drawings at the MMA

Abigail Teller received her BFA in painting, history, and art history and archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis. At the moment, Abigail is undecided as to what specialization she’d like to pursue. Nevertheless, “art conservation allows me to come close to the art I study,” she says. She holds a strong interest in both paper and paintings conservation, and is especially fascinated by the challenges of conserving new and untested materials used in modern and contemporary art.

Her prior internship experiences include the MMA paper conservation department and at MoMA with Dr. Ana Martins, Associate Research Scientist. “My favorite experience”, she says, “was working on an early twentieth-century backdrop used for tintype portraits at Maria Scarpini Studio.” The immense linen painting had come to the studio crumpled in a trash bag, and the entire tempera paint surface was actively flaking off. “I enjoyed experimenting with and comparing different concentrations of consolidating agents to find one that would stabilize the surface without compromising its matte appearance.”

Abigail has a sharp interest in modern and contemporary art, which is one reason that NYU appealed to her. Moreover, the opportunity to study in NYC will allow her to keep up to date with current trends in contemporary art. What’s more, it is the only program that would allow her to couple studies in conservation with a deep focus on art history. “Studying the history of art allows me to establish a different kind of closeness than the physical and material nearness of conservation,” she says. “To be able to not only use my eyes but science and technical skills to peel away each layer of the work is, for me, a deep pleasure.”


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