Welcome to the Museum Conservation Program
in Museum Conservation
Join the “NMSU Museum Conservation Students” group on FACEBOOK !!!
Check the new blog “Emerging Conservation Professionals Network” which is a forum for professionals that just entered the field of conservation or for students trying to get to graduate schools in conservation.
What is the Museum Conservation Program?
The Museum Conservation degree at NMSU seeks to prepare students in one of three ways:
- Student may complete a degree in Museum Conservation in order to work with art conservators in art galleries, museums, private collections and archaeological excavations with an understanding of conservation issues;
- Students may take courses in Museum Conservation to complement another degree (e.g., Anthropology, History, Biology, etc. including at the graduate level)
- After completing the Museum Conservation degree, some students may wish to apply to enter a graduate program to become an art conservator or continue in museum studies.
To learn more about the need for trained professionals to work in the area of museum conservation go to: Museum Artifacts In Danger Of Disintegrating
GRADUATE STUDENTS can also take the museum conservation courses at the graduate level as elective classes or as part of the MUSEUM STUDIES CERTIFICATE at NMSU, in order to learn curatorial work and collection managing with fundamentals in conservation and preservation.
Art conservators attempt to protect material objects of all types from further degradation. This requires not only a knowledge of studio art and conservation techniques, but also of the chemical, biological and physical factors that cause works of art to deteriorate.
Art conservation is the field dedicated to preserving cultural property for future generations. Our cultural property is threatened by repeated exposure to a variety of detrimental factors including excessive light, temperature and humidity extremes, pests, pollutants, poor handling practices, natural disasters, and accidental damage. The survival of this heritage depends on the availability of educated and trained conservation professionals.
Conservators are professionals who are skilled in the scientific treatment and preservation of cultural artifacts. They have the specialized knowledge and skills in the arts, sciences, and other fields that enable them to undertake scientific studies on objects, stabilize the structure and reintegrate the appearance of deteriorated cultural artifacts, and establish an environment in which artifacts are best preserved. Conservators specialize in some particular material or group of objects such as paintings, art on paper, textiles, library and archival artifacts, photographs, archeological or ethnographic materials, sculpture, furniture or decorative objects.
Our country’s museums, libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions, as well as individual collectors, rely on trained conservators to document, analyze, treat, and care for their collections. This work insures that these cultural resources are given the finest possible care and are available for the education, scholarship, advancement, and enrichment of future generations.
According to the University of Delaware
NMSU and the University of Delaware are the only institutions in the U.S. that prepare undergraduate students to study art conservation; actually becoming an art conservator requires graduate training. Only three institutions in the U.S, the University of Delaware, New York University (Manhattan) and SUNY-Buffalo State College provide comprehensive graduate programs to all areas of art conservation; these programs prepare qualified students to become practicing art conservators. Columbia University, The University of Texas-Austin, UCLA, Getty Institution, and the University of Pennsylvania offer specialized programs in some specific areas of art conservation.
Requirements for a BFA
in Museum Conservation
In addition to the NMSU University General Education requirements (pp. 14-16, 2007-2008 NMSU Undergraduate Catalog) and the requirements of the college of Arts and Science (pp. 42-43), Museum Conservation majors must complete required courses in:
Museum Conservation (9 credits)
Basic Sciences (Chemistry) (16 credits)
Studio Arts (15 credits)
Art History (18 credits)
Museum Studies (6 credits)
Anthropology/History (15 credits).
Overview of Requirements for an Undergraduate Minor in Museum Conservation
An undergraduate minor in Museum Conservation requires the completion of 9 credits of the three 400-level museum conservation courses listed below, and 18 credits of the courses selected from one of the tracks listed below (Track 1, Track 2, or Track 3), for a total of 27 credits.
Museum Conservation courses:
ART 401 Museum Conservation Techniques I (3 cr) (Spring)
ART 402 Museum Conservation Techniques II (3 cr) (Fall)
ART 403 Preventive conservation – Collections Care (Directed Readings) (3cr)
Art Department –18 ELECTIVE Credits
ART 490 Museum Conservation Internship
ART 499 Problems in Studio
Art History (all time periods)
Studio Art (if the student decides to take all Studio Art courses it has to be from different media areas)
Anthropology department – 18 ELECTIVE credits:
ART 490 Museum Conservation Internship
ANTH 315 Intro to Archæology (3 cr),
ANTH 414 The Archæology of Religion (3 cr)
ANTH 313 Ancient Mexico (3 cr, every FALL)),
ANTH 316 Archaeology of the American Southwest (3 cr),
ANTH 318 Historical Archaeology (3 cr),
ANTH 334 Anthropology of Art Traditions (3 cr) ,
ANTH 485 Field Experience,
ANTH 378 Int-Lab Methods- Archaeology (3 cr, not offered every year)
History department – 18 ELECTIVE credits:
ART 490 Museum Conservation Internship
HIST 330V “Introduction to Religious Studies”
HIST 333 “Renaissance and Reformation”
HIST 334 “Art and Life in Renaissance Italy”
HIST 371 “Ancient Greece”
HIST 397 ”Introduction to Public History”
HIST 424 “History of Art, Thought and Literature”
HIST 438 “Antiquity and Modernity”
HIST 481 “Time Traveling Through New Mexico’s Past”
HIST 483 “Historic Preservation”
HIST 486 “Interpreting Historic Places for the Public”
HIST 484 “Historical Editing, Theory, and Practice”
Check the requirements
in each department
Academic Departments Contributing to the Program: Anthropology, Art, History
Detailed Program of Study:
The Certificate in Museum Studies is a 3-semester (or one year + summer) program designed for individuals who want to enhance their understanding of museum work but do not need a master’s degree, or to be completed in conjunction with a Master’s degree in Public History, History, Art History, Anthropology, or Studio Art or other disciplines by permission. The Certificate in Museum Studies requires a separate application. Because certificates are stand alone qualifications and do not work like a minor, there is a strict ‘no rollover credit’ rule. To take the certificate concurrently with the MA, the student must apply for both from the start. If the student were to add on the certificate later in the course of his/her studies, the classes taken prior to his/her application will not count.
Core Curriculum (12 Credits):
ANTH 545 Introduction to Museology (3 cr)
ART 503 Preventative Conservation/Collections Care (3 cr)
HIST 586 Interpreting Historic Places for the Public (3 cr)
INTERNSHIP (credits from ANTH, ART, or HIST) (3 cr)
Controlled Electives (6 Credits)
2 courses chosen from the following:
ANTH 540 Cultural Resource Management
ANTH 542 Cultural Resource Management II
ANTH 547 Museum Field Methods
ANTH 548 Museums and Society
ART 501 Museum Conservation Techniques I
ART 502 Museum Conservation Techniques II
ART 579 Art Theory, Criticism, Historiography
ART 587 Exhibition Studies
HIST 579 Oral History
HIST 581 Time Travel Through New Mexico’s Past
HIST 583 Historic Preservation
HIST 594 Public History Seminar
Basic Science Requirements
For students going to graduate school in art conservation (16cr.):
CHEM 111G, CHEM 112G(8cr) or CHEM 115, CHEM 116 (8cr.)
Plus: CHEM 313, CHEM314, CHEM315 (Lab) (8cr.)
For students NOT going to graduate school in art conservation (16cr.):
CHEM 111G, CHEM 112G,CHEM 211 (12 credits)
Plus: one from either (4cr.):
BIOL 211G/ BIOL 211GL Cellular & Organismal Biology & Laboratory (4cr)
EPWS 303 Economic Entomology (4cr.)
The core courses in MUSEUM CONSERVATION (9 credits, 3 courses; all required):
ART 401, Museum Conservation Techniques I
ART 402, Museum Conservation Techniques II
ART 403, Preventative Conservation/Collections Care
Students who wish to gain more hands-on experience can take ART 499,
Problems in Studio
All four of the above courses can also be taken for graduate credit at the 500-level.
Studio Art Requirements
15 credits (5 courses in STUDIO ART are required):
2 required courses (6cr.):
ART 250 – Introduction to Drawing and Painting (3cr.)
ART 350 –Intermediate Drawing and Painting (3cr.)
Plus 3 electives (9cr.)
From either 200- level (or higher) Studio Art courses from different media areas
HISTORY/ANTHROPOLOGY: (15 credits)
2 required courses, (6 cr.)
- ANTH 315 Intro to Archæology (3 cr, required), and
- One HISTORY course (3cr.) from among:
- HIST 330V “Introduction to Religious Studies”; HIST 333 “Renaissance and Reformation”; HIST 334 “Art and Life in Renaissance Italy”; HIST 371 “Ancient Greece”; HIST 397 ”Introduction to Public History”; HIST 424 “History of Art, Thought and Literature”; HIST 438 “Antiquity and Modernity”; HIST 481 “Time Traveling Through New Mexico’s Past”, HIST 483 “Historic Preservation”; HIST 486 “Interpreting Historic Places for the Public”; HIST 484 “Historical Editing, Theory, and Practice”
Plus 3 electives from among (9 cr):
- ANTH 334 Anthropology of Art Traditions (3 cr), ANTH 414 The Archæology of Religion (3 cr) ANTH 313 Ancient Mexico (3 cr, every FALL)), ANTH 316 Archaeology of the American Southwest (3 cr), ANTH 467 Archaeology of the American Southwest (3 cr), ANTH 318 Historical Archaeology (3 cr), , ANTH 485 Field Experience, ANTH 497 Special Topics (if archaeology) ANTH 378 Int-Lab Methods- Archaeology (3 cr, not offered every year)
MUSEUM STUDIES. 6 credits:
ANTH 345. Introduction to Museum Studies 3 cr.
ART 490 Museum Conservation Internship (3cr)