Heather White, Owner and Principal Objects Conservator
Professional Associate of AIC
As an artist and an ongoing student of history and science, I’ve had the rare pleasure of entering the field of art conservation, and have enjoyed a career in the recovery and long-term care of cultural material for ten years. Whether I’m working in the field as artifacts come out of the ground, at a museum preparing art for exhibit, or simply at a client’s house caring for a precious heirloom that’s been damaged, my purpose is to ensure our world’s treasures last for generations to come. This is both an honor and a responsibility, and I proudly hold myself to the ethical standards established by The American Institute for Conservation.
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My purpose is to ensure our world's treasures last for generations to come.
Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, my early career was steeped in rewarding experiences at beloved cultural institutions just west of the Mississippi. I earned my Bachelor’s in 2009 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, focusing on the study of art history, classical archaeology and studio art. My love of archaeology lead to work as an archaeological field technician in the states and abroad. After college I spent several years gaining first-hand experience in the curation, preparation and conservation of art and artifacts at the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Eugene Field House, and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University.
A highlight of my pre-program experience was being part of the 2011/2012 conservation team that restored The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley—one of only a handful of surviving panoramas from the mid-nineteenth century. This treatment took place at the Saint Louis Art Museum under the watchful eye of the public, and is where I discovered my passion for advocacy and outreach in the preservation of cultural heritage.
A highlight of my pre-program experience was being part of the 2011/2012 conservation team that restored The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley in public at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Here I discovered my passion for advocacy and outreach in the preservation of cultural heritage.
In 2016, I had the privilege of earning my Master’s from the UCLA/Getty MA Program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials. This exclusive program accepts six individuals every other year to participate in an intensive three-year curriculum. My training benefits from the interdisciplinary collaboration between UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and the Getty Conservation Institute—leaders at the forefront of archaeological research and conservation science. I was afforded the opportunity of learning hands-on from internationally respected experts in the field, and established invaluable professional relationships world-wide.
Though I’ve spent a majority of my career at museums treating a range of materials and art, my affinity for archaeological conservation has been undeniable. Ever since I could dig in the dirt, I knew one of my greatest loves in life would involve taking part in the discovery of our past through the remains our ancestors left behind. By entering the field of conservation, I found my particular role and contribution to these such endeavors, and value every opportunity to be in the field alongside my colleagues across disciplines as we collectively work to uncover and interpret the past.