Amy Brost

Amy exposing a daguerreotype plate in her 4×5 camera (Linhof Technica II) on the roof of the Center for Alternative Photography, NYC

Amy Brost graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a double major in art history and studio art. Amy spent 10 years in advertising and communications before deciding to change course and pursue conservation study. Her pre-program experiences have been in the areas of paleontological materials, objects, photography, and book and library conservation. “I have had the privilege to assist on treatments of a wide range of objects,” Amy says, “including fossils from the Cretaceous period, a 17th-century book at The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, and modern works by Keith Haring, Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth and others.” Amy was particularly excited to work on the façade restoration of the New York Public Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street because it was done in public view. “It was rewarding to hear first-hand how pleased people were with the progress,” she says.

Her favorite objects, however, are photographs, and she plans on pursuing a specialty in photograph conservation. While an intern in the Department of Photograph Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA), Amy had the opportunity to work with several Southworth & Hawes daguerreotypes and the Diane Arbus archive. “I have a particular passion for photography, so it’s a thrill to walk into that lab each day and help care for some of the most important photographs in the world.” The program at NYU, led by Sherman Fairchild Conservator, Nora Kennedy of the MMA, offers Amy a very strong curriculum in photograph conservation.

In addition to her interest in photographs, Amy recently began working with electronics. She enrolled in a physics course, which included the concepts and principles of electricity, magnetism, and optics. Using what she learned in class as a starting point, she constructed a small, voice-activated LED panel. The panel was a huge hit with the admissions committee members! “I think there will be a growing need for art conservators who are conversant in the preservation and treatment issues presented by artworks in electronic, digital, and time-based media,” she declares. NYU is uniquely poised to address these issues, and offers supplemental coursework in these areas through the Moving Image Archiving & Preservation program at the Tisch School of the Arts. “I’m eager to take courses in time-based media conservation with the prominent conservators based here in NYC who are helping to pioneer that specialty.”

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