Mellon Diversifying the Field

Exploring Modern African Art

A Chrysler Museum of Art and
Hampton University Museum Partnership

Hello! I am Angie Lopez, the Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Fellow. I am looking forward to working alongside Tashae to preserve the Harmon Foundation Modern African Art Collection and prepare the art for exhibition.

I was introduced to the field of conservation during high school as a part of the Felician University – Lodi High School Academy of Research and Advanced Academics. As part of the Academy I took an oil painting class, and fell in love with it. My interest in art history grew thanks to an inspiring class field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Ard Berge, Associate Professor in the Art department at Felician University. As a senior I was indecisive about which major to choose and shared these frustrations to Professor Berge. He recommended I look into the field of art conservation and apply to the undergraduate program at the University of Delaware.

I took his advice and the rest is history! I began my studies at UD as a double major in Art Conservation and Art History, adding a minor in Latin and Iberian studies along the way. As an undergraduate I participated in numerous conservation internships and jobs, including positions at Winterthur Museum and the Maryland Center for History and Culture. During this time I gained experience treating paintings, ceramics, photographs, and silver.

As a Summer Scholar at Winterthur Museum, I worked alongside fellow UD student, Sophie Zaidman, to create an educational program for children and their parents that connected to the museum’s collection and gardens. Outside of the classroom I expressed my passion for the field as an avid member of the Art Conservation Club on campus, and served as president during my senior year.

After graduating from UD in May 2023, I took part in a summer monuments conservation internship in New York City at Central Park. I was able to work on the park’s extensive collection of bronze sculptures, remove graffiti, operate and conduct maintenance on all fountains in the park, as well as pick up masonry skills, such as repointing. I participated in public outreach by interacting with park-goers, especially engaging with Spanish speaking individuals who expressed interest.

As the Mellon Conservation Fellow, I will build upon my work by conserving the Harmon Modern African Art collection so they last for years to come. It is an honor to be working alongside Tashae to bring these exhibitions to life and conduct this ground-breaking work.

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