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CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation

The CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation recognizes outstanding contributions by one or more persons who, individually or jointly, have enhanced understanding of art through the application of knowledge and experience in conservation, art history, and art. The joint award with AIC was first presented in 2016. Between 1991 and 2015, the award was known as the “CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation.”

2018 WINNER

Paul Messier

Paul Messier is a scholar-conservator who has made many significant contributions to our understanding of the technical history of photography. He received a BA in art history from Vassar College and an MA in the conservation of works on paper and photographs from the art conservation program at the State University of New York College at Buffalo. Messier is head of the Lens Media Lab (LML) at Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. In this capacity, he organizes research on the material history and conservation of photography. For over twenty years he has managed one of the world’s leading independent photography conservation studios, which is located in Boston. Paul may be best known for creating an extensive reference collection of historic photographic papers. Considered to be the largest collection of its kind in the world, it now resides at the LML at Yale University. Many researchers use the collection in technical and authentication studies.

Among his most noted technical studies was the identification of fraudulent posthumous prints attributed to the photographer Lewis Hine. He has also conducted technical research on works by Charles-Edouard de Crespy le Prince, Dorothea Lange, Man Ray, and other important nineteenth- and twentieth-century photographers. Paul has advised and consulted at numerous institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, New York Public Library, Harvard University, and the Library of Congress. He served as senior advisor to the Museum of Modern Art’s Object/Photo initiative to characterize photographic works in the museum’s collection.

In addition to his technical research, Messier has made many professional contributions to the fields of photography and electronic media conservation. He codirected a program through the Foundation of the AIC to establish a photograph conservation department at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. He served on the AIC Board of Directors from 2004 to 2009, and founded the AIC Electronic Media Group in 1996.

Jury: Glenn Wharton, New York University, chair; Kristin R. deGhetaldi, University of Delaware; and Rebecca Anne Rushfield, conservation consultant.

PAST WINNERS

Conservators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and, more recently, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum have all received the CAA/American Institute for Conservation Award. Independent scholars and conservators, such as Andrea Kirsch and Rustin S. Levenson (both 2001) and John Thorpe (2006) have also been honored. Perhaps the most international of CAA awards, recipients from institutions abroad include Paolo Cherchi Usai of the National Screen and Sound Archive in Australia (2005) and Ernst van de Wetering at the University of Amsterdam (2003). If conducting historical research, please note that the CAA/AIC Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation was known as the “CAA/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation” from 1991–2015.

2017 Tom J. S. Learner, Head of Science at the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI)
Jury: Glenn Wharton, New York University, chair; Ellen Pearlstein, University of California, Los Angeles; and Rebecca Anne Rushfield, Conservation Consultant, New York City.

2016 Debra Hess Norris, Department of Art Conservation, University of Delaware
Jury: Ellen Pearlstein, University of California, Los Angeles, chair; Brian Considine, J. Paul Getty Museum; and Glenn Wharton, New York University

2015 E. Melanie Gifford, National Gallery of Art
Jury: Joyce Hill Stoner, Winterthur/University of Delaware, chair; Brian Considine, J. Paul Getty Museum; and Ellen Pearlstein, University of California, Los Angeles

2014 Glenn Wharton, Museum of Modern Art and Museum Studies Program, New York University
Jury: Joyce Hill Stoner, Winterthur/University of Delaware, chair; Brian Considine, J. Paul Getty Museum; and Ellen Pearlstein, University of California, Los Angeles

2013 Lance Meyer and Gay Myers, Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Jury: Nicholas Dorman, Seattle Museum of Art, chair; Joyce Hill Stoner, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library and the University of Delaware; and Rebecca Rushfield, independent conservator

2012 Francesca G. Bewer, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard Art Museums
Jury: Michele Marincola, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, chair; Nicholas Dorman, Seattle Museum of Art; and Rebecca Rushfield, independent conservator

2011 Joyce Hill Stoner, Art Conservation Department, University of Delaware
Jury: Michele Marincola, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, chair; Nicholas Dorman, Seattle Museum of Art; and Rebecca Rushfield, independent conservator

2010 David Bomford, J. Paul Getty Museum
Jury: Jonathan P. Binstock, Citi Private Bank Art Advisory Service, chair; Michele Marincola, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; and Wynne Phelan, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

2009 Carol Stringari, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Chris McGlinchey, Museum of Modern Art
Jury: Harry Cooper, National Gallery of Art, chair; Jonathan Binstock, Corcoran Gallery of Art; and Wynne Phelan, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

2008 Elizabeth S. Bolman, Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Jury: Harry Cooper, National Gallery of Art, chair; Jonathan Binstock, Corcoran Gallery of Art; Wynne Phelan, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Rebecca Rushfield, independent conservator

2007 Lawrence Becker, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Christine Kondoleon, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Jury: Jay Krueger, National Gallery of Art, chair; Lisa Schrenk, Norwich University; Rebecca Rushfield, independent conservator; Harry Cooper, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University

2006 Don Kalec, Historic Preservation Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and John Thorpe, John Thorpe and Associates
Jury: Jay Krueger, National Gallery of Art, chair; Andrea Kirsh, University of Oregon; Rustin Levenson; Lisa Schrenk, Norwich University; Rebecca Rushfield

2005 Paolo Cherchi Usai, National Screen and Sound Archive in Australia
Committee: Elizabeth Darrow, independent scholar; chair; Andrea Kirsh, independent curator and scholar; Jay Krueger, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Lisa Schrenk, Norwich University; Rustin Levenson, Rustin Levenson Art Conservation Associates

2004 Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, Harvard University Museums, and Whitney Museum of American Art
Committee: Elizabeth Darrow, independent scholar; chair; James Coddington, Museum of Modern Art; Andrea Kirsh, independent curator and scholar; and Rustin Levenson, Rustin Levenson Art Conservation Associates

2003 Ernst van de Wetering, University of Amsterdam
Committee: Joyce Hill Stoner, University of Delaware and Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, chair; Jim Coddington, Museum of Modern Art; Elizabeth Darrow, University of Washington; and Joe Fronek, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

2002 Harry Cooper and Ron Spronk, Harvard University Art Museums
Committee: Joyce Hill Stoner, Winterthur Museum, chair; Frank Zuccari, Art Institute of Chicago; James Coddington, Museum of Modern Art; and Joe Fronek, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

2001 Andrea Kirsh, independent scholar and curator, and Rustin S. Levenson, independent paintings conservator
Committee: Joe Fronek, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Barbara Mangum, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Joyce Hill Stoner, Winterthur Museum and University of Delaware; and Frank Zuccari, Art Institute of Chicago

2000 Christa C. Mayer Thurman, Art Institute of Chicago
Committee: Margaret Holben Ellis, Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, chair; Barbara Magnum, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary; and Frank Zuccari, Art Institute of Chicago

1998 W. Thomas Chase, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution
Committee: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Albert P. Albano, Intermuseum Conservation Association; Marjorie B. Cohn, Fogg Art Museum; and Margaret Holben Ellis, Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

1997 Henry W. Lie, Straus Center for Conservation, Harvard University
Committee: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Elizabeth Batchelor, Dayton Art Institute; Marjorie Cohn, Harvard Art Museums; and Jonathan Thornton, State University of New York, Buffalo

1996 Marjorie B. Cohn, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
Committee: Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., chair; James Coddington; E. Melanie Gifford; Debbie Hess Norris; Johathon Thornton, State University of New York, Buffalo

1995 Molly Ann Fairies, Indiana University
Committee: Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., National Gallery of Art, chair; James Coddington, Museum of Modern Art; and E. Melanie Gifford, National Gallery of Art, for CAA; Inge-Lise Eckmann, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Debbie Hess Norris, University of Delaware for NIC

1994 Maryan Ainsworth, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Committee: Marcia Hall, Temple University, chair; E. Melanie Gifford, National Gallery of Art; and Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., National Gallery of Art, for CAA; Joyce Hill-Stoner, University of Delaware; and Barbara Heller, Detroit Institute of Arts, for NIC

1993 Arthur Wheelock, National Gallery of Art
Committee: Marcia Hall, Temple University, and Gridley McKim-Smith, Bryn Mawr College, for CAA; Joyce Hill-Stoner, University of Delaware, and Barbara Heller, Detroit Institute of Arts, for NIC

1992 Robert L. Feller, Research Center on Materials of the Artist and Conservator, Mellon Institute
Committee: Maryan Ainsworth, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Gridley McKim-Smith, Bryn Mawr College for CAA; Barbara Heller, Detroit Institute of Arts, and Ross Merrill, National Gallery of Art for NIC

1991 Gridley McKim-Smith, Greta Andersen-Bergdoll, Richard Newman, and Andrew Davidhazy
Committee: Maryan Ainsworth, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Marcia Hall, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, for CAA; Ross Merrill, National Gallery of Art, and Joyce Hill Stoner, University of Delaware, for NIC