The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum announced the appointment of Francesca Esmay as the Alfred Flechtheim Director of Engagement, Conservation and Collections Care, a newly endowed position within the museums Conservation Department.

This position is funded by a challenge grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by Dr. Michael R. Hulton and Mrs. Penny R. Hulton, heirs of art collector and dealer Alfred Flechtheim.

Esmay will collaborate with colleagues across the museum to develop educational initiatives and public programming that explore the intersections of art, technology, and science and address issues related to the preservation of modern and contemporary art.

She will also oversee the newly established Mentoring Emerging Professionals in Art Conservation initiative (Mepac), a ten-week, paid opportunity for students to work alongside leaders in the field of art conservation and collections care.

This programme was conceived to address the persistent lack of diversity within art conservation and to provide opportunities to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) candidates.

Under the Mepac initiative, three students per year, drawn from both the undergraduate and graduate levels, will work one-on-one with Esmay, Ty Woodfolk, Deputy Director Culture and Inclusion, and other staff within the Guggenheims Conservation Department and will receive mentoring and support for future pursuits in the conservation field.

Lena Stringari, Deputy Director and Andrew W. Mellon Chief Conservator, said: The work of preserving cultural heritage enables a deeper understanding of histories, cultures, and the materials that contribute to those narratives, yet it is often invisible in museums.

"The establishment of this position and Esmays appointment will raise the visibility of this vital work as well as provide opportunities for historically under-represented students to learn about conservation and contribute to efforts that both diversify the field and make it more relevant to a wider public.-TradeArabia News Service

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