Yale University Art Gallery is pleased to announce the appointment of Anikó Bezur as the University’s first conservation scientist. As Director of Scientific Research at the Yale Center for Conservation and Preservation, she will establish and lead a research laboratory to serve Yale’s diverse collections of cultural property, including those of the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, the Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the University Library, as well as other objects dispersed throughout the campus.
As the first Director of Scientific Research, Bezur will oversee the development and design of the conservation science lab that will be housed at Yale’s West Campus. She will select equipment for the analysis of objects and establish relationships with departments across Yale with whom analytical equipment can be shared. She will also work collaboratively with conservators, librarians, collections managers, curators, and faculty members in the technical study of cultural materials.
This new position was established through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant provides three years of initial funding to hire the director of conservation science and establish the program, as well as a matching challenge grant to endow the position in perpetuity.
“I was absolutely delighted that Anikó accepted our offer to come to Yale. She combines an established and rising reputation for teaching and research with a great love for works of art,” states Ian McClure, the Susan Morse Hilles Chief Conservator at the Yale University Art Gallery, who led the search committee. “She will be charged with establishing a research lab to produce work of the highest quality and, most importantly, to welcome and foster collaborative projects across the collections and academic departments of the University. I cannot think of anyone who is better placed to establish and develop this important new venture.”
The Center for Conservation and Preservation will play a vital role in Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, established with a gift from Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, B.A. 1978. A director, who will serve a five-year rotating appointment and will be selected from the University’s senior conservation and preservation staff, will lead the Center. McClure will be the first to hold this position. Located at Yale’s West Campus along with the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, a digitization core, and collection storage, the Center will contribute to the work of museums and libraries on campus and to the field of conservation by exploring current and innovative analysis techniques, as well as by participating in teaching.
Bezur comes to Yale from a joint position at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Menil Collection, where she has served as the Andrew W. Mellon Research Scientist since 2008, and she has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Rice University. Bezur also held appointments as Associate Conservation Scientist at the Art Institute of Chicago, from 2005 to 2008, and as a lecturer and an assistant professor of conservation science at Buffalo State College in New York from 2001 to 2005). She holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from Brandeis University and a PH.D.in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Arizona.