NEDCC Director of Paper Conservation
Walter Newman to Retire in March 2013
Walter Newman, Director of Paper Conservation at the Northeast Document Conservation Center, will retire in March after nearly 28 years of service to the Center. Walter joined the staff as a Mellon Foundation Fellow in 1982, after earning an MA in art conservation at the Cooperstown Graduate Program and completing an internship at the Swiss Institute for Art Research in Zurich. He had also previously worked as a paintings conservator at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and later on at the Boston Public Library as a paper conservator.
During Walter’s tenure as a paper conservator at NEDCC he conserved hundreds of works of art and historic artifacts, including fine art prints and drawings, artifacts ranging from family mementos to documents of national and international significance, maps, posters, globes, wallpaper, and paintings on paper and parchment. He has supervised some of the Center’s most important and complicated projects. He has performed numerous surveys for museums, libraries, and archives across the country and abroad. Walter became Director of Paper Conservation at NEDCC in 2004.
Over the course of his career, Walter has supervised numerous interns and served as the principal instructor for visiting conservators from the former Soviet bloc and Latin America at NEDCC. He provided conservation training abroad in locations as far-flung as the Hermitage (St. Petersburg), the National Archives in Mongolia, and the Center for Conservation in Chile. Since 1996 he has been continuously involved in training and consultation in Cuba, including at the Hemingway Museum at Finca Vigía. He earned a Masters in Spanish along the way to support this work. In his most recent project there he provided further training in advanced paper conservation techniques to the Finca Vigía staff.
His publications include accounts of the conservation of New York’s Bellevue Hospital Wall of Prayers and the joint project with the State Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia to conserve the Levashov Family Album. He has also written about NEDCC’s collaborative projects to promote the training of conservators in Cuba and contributed to AIC's Paper Conservation Catalog and to the disaster response manual First Aid for Art.
“Under Walter’s direction, NEDCC’s paper conservation laboratory has set the highest standards for quality and professional ethics,” said Bill Veillette, Executive Director. “We at NEDCC will miss his expertise, his commitment, and his passion for conservation. We wish Walter the very best for a well-deserved retirement.”