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Paper and Photograph Conservation Laboratory Staff

Michael Lee

Michael Lee, Director of Paper and Photograph Conservation
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Michael Lee has worked as a professional in the field of paper conservation since 1985. His expertise includes the conservation of works of art on paper, photographic materials, archival documents, and large format objects. He has extensive experience in managing a busy conservation lab, and has performed conservation surveys and onsite evaluations for major institutions throughout the eastern U.S. Michael has lectured on a wide variety of conservation topics. He is a graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Conservation, and is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).

Tahe Zalal

Tahe Zalal, Outreach Conservator
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Tahe Zalal has worked in the field of conservation since 1999 and specializes in conservation of works of fine art on paper, rare manuscripts, archival documents, maps, and objects on vellum. She has extensive experience in advising clients on treatment options and in developing proposals. Based from her office in Greensboro, NC, Tahe travels throughout the US, serving as an advocate for preservation and conservation by advising museum, library, and archive professionals on caring for their institutions' collections. She enthusiastically shares her expertise with every kind of organization, from volunteer-run historic sites to large collecting institutions. Tahe earned a BA in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and she serves on the board of Preservation Greensboro, and is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). 

Monique Fischer

Monique Fischer, Senior Photograph Conservator
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Monique Fischer has specialized in the conservation of photographic materials since 1994. In collaboration with the Image Permanence Institute, she was awarded a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1997 for the development of A-D Strips, a tool that detects deterioration in acetate film. Monique lectures extensively on photograph conservation in the US and abroad, and has been awarded two fellowships by the J. Paul Getty Trust to investigate the longevity of digital output media.  She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). Monique received a B.A. in Chemistry from Smith College, and a M.S. in Art Conservation with a concentration in Photographic Materials from the Winterthur / University of Delaware Program.

Natalia Paskova

Natalia Paskova, Associate Paper and Photograph Conservator

Natalia Paskova has studied and worked in the field of conservation since 1995. She worked as a paper conservator at the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia from 2000-2017,  as well as Project Conservator of Photography for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation & The State Hermitage project , 2008 –2010 (Saint Petersburg, Russia). Her experience includes the conservation of works of art and documents on paper, and also has experience in oil-painting conservation. Natalia served as a project conservator at the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard University for the Colonial North American Project from 2017 to 2018. She earned a Masters of Liberal Arts at the Russian Academy of Arts, Saint Petersburg, and a Bachelor degree in Conservation of Fine Arts at the Nikolai Rerih Art College in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Kathryn Boodle

Kathryn Boodle, Senior Conservator

Kathryn Boodle has studied and worked in the conservation field since 2010, beginning as an intern at a private conservation lab in Columbia, SC. She completed student work placements at the National Maritime Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Museum of London-Docklands in London, as well as at the Glucksman Conservation Centre, Aberdeen, Scotland.  Kathryn earned her MA in Art Conservation at the University of the Arts (Camberwell College of the Arts,) London. She is a  member of the Institute of Conservation (UK) and the International Council of Museums, and a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).

Luana Maekawa

Luana Maekawa, Senior Conservator

Luana Maekawa has worked in the field of paper conservation for over 30 years, and since 1991 has operated a successful private paper conservation practice in Florence, Italy.  She was a conservation team member from 2015 to 2016 on the “Raphael Project” at the Biblioteca Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, Italy, providing treatment on Phases I-III on Raphael’s “School of Athens” cartoon (2.74 m X 7.92 m.)  Luana is experienced in the conservation of Asian paintings and wallpapers, including folding screens, Tibetan thangkas, Chinese paintings on paper and silk, and Japanese woodblock prints. Luana has served as guest lecturer on conservation topics at various professional meetings, and has published articles on Japanese paintings, anatomical botany models, and other conservation projects and techniques. She earned a BA in Art History at Rutgers University and studied paper conservation at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Italy. Luana is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and a member of ICOM.

Annajean Hamel

Annajean Hamel, Lead Preparator, Paper Conservation Technician

Annajean Hamel has worked in the field of conservation and museum exhibitions since 2006, including positions at the MIT Museum of Science and Technology and the Smith College Museum of Art, as well as a previous position as conservation technician and preparator at NEDCC from 2013 to 2017.  Annajean is experienced in the care and handling of fine art and significant cultural heritage collections. As Lead Preparator, she performs duties that complement the work of the Center’s conservators, including the creation of mats and mounts, all aspects of framing, assisting the registrar in handling of collection materials, and performing technician-level conservation procedures.  Annajean studied Painting and Sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art and The Art Institute of Boston.

Olivia Frechette

Olivia Frechette, Paper Conservation Technician

Olivia Frechette has studied in the conservation field since 2018. She was previously NEDCC’s pre-program conservation intern, gaining technical skills and treatment experience with works on paper before applying to conservation graduate programs. She has had conservation internships in New York, Massachusetts, and Chicago since graduating from Skidmore College in 2021 with a B.A. in Chemistry. Her studies included conservation courses while abroad at Studio Arts College International in Florence, Italy.

Emily Mercer

Emily Mercer, Photograph Conservation Fellow

Emily Mercer is a 2015 graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she received her B.A. in Historic Preservation. She recently graduated from SUNY Buffalo State University in 2023 with an M.A. in the Conservation of Art and Cultural Heritage and an M.S. in Conservation Science and Imaging. During her time in Buffalo she specialized in the conservation of photographic materials. While in graduate school, she held summer internships at Paul Messier LLC and the National Gallery of Art. She completed her third-year internship at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.