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Andrew W. Mellon Objects Conservation Fellow LaStarsha McGarity conducting treatment on The Young Christ (?), c. 1500/1510, by Giovanni della Robbia at the National Gallery of Art, 2021

What Our Future Holds: Preservation for All

Celebrating Conservation

Celebrating Conservation: A Series of Conversations on Its Past, Present, and Future

  • Monday, December 5, 2022
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Virtual
  • Registration Required

Join us for the fourth and final session of Celebrating Conservation: A Series of Conversations on Its Past, Present, and Future.

The conservation field plays a vital role in supporting the preservation of cultural heritage. This discussion centers an increasingly holistic and sustainable approach to the care of and respect for cultural property, acknowledging the role of underserved and diasporic communities. Including the voices of these communities connects the past to the present and fortifies continued stewardship for the future.


Steven Nelson
Dean, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts

Mervin Richard
Chief of Conservation, Conservation Division, National Gallery of Art


Pamela Hatchfield
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (emerita), and Held in Trust
Prerecorded talk: “The Future is Now: Resilience in Conservation and Preservation”

Pamela Hatchfield serves as project coordinator for Held in Trust, a collaboration between the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The project evaluates the present state and future directions of cultural heritage preservation and conservation in the United States. She is also head of objects conservation emerita at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She holds degrees from Vassar College and New York University. Hatchfield is a fellow of the International Institute for Conservation, American Institute for Conservation (AIC), and American Academy in Rome, and received the Robert L. Feller Lifetime Achievement Award from AIC in 2021.

Held in Trust is part of a “A More Perfect Union,” an initiative supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

© Chris Hartlove

Sanchita Balachandran
Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum and Johns Hopkins University
Prerecorded talk: “Whose Future?”

Sanchita Balachandran is a conservator of archaeological materials, a writer, a researcher, and a teacher. She is currently associate director and conservator of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum and senior lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Balachandran is also the founder and director of Untold Stories, a nonprofit organization that seeks to center BIPOC voices working in the preservation of cultural heritage.

Isabel Rivera-Collazo
University of California, San Diego
Prerecorded talk: “Climate Change and the Future of Cultural Heritage”

Professor Isabel Rivera-Collazo is the director of the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology and associate professor in biological, ecological, and human adaptations to climate change at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. Focused on Puerto Rico, Rivera-Collazo’s research centers on sea level change, vulnerability of heritage to climate impacts, the dynamism of coastal geomorphology, and human response to climate change.


Sue Ann Chui
Painting Conservator
Painting Conservation, National Gallery of Art