Press release date: 
Thursday, November 1, 2001

Charles E. Pierce, Jr., Director, the Morgan Library, announced today the appointment of Margaret Holben Ellis as the first Director of The Thaw Conservation Center at the Morgan Library. The Center, a world-class laboratory for the conservation of works on paper—drawings, books, and literary, historical, and music manuscripts—as well as a place for conservation studies, is scheduled to open in early 2002.

Margaret Holben Ellis is Professor of Conservation, Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. She recently relinquished the Sherman Fairchild Chairmanship of the Center but will continue her teaching and research responsibilities at the Institute. Since 1998 she has worked closely with the Morgan, planning the facilities and programs of the Thaw Center. Active professionally and the author of numerous publications, Professor Ellis was the first Fellow in Conservation/Historic Preservation at the American Academy in Rome (1994) and received the Rutherford John Gettens Merit Award in recognition of outstanding service to the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (1997). She currently serves on the Council of the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and is a Certified Conservator/Restorer of the Institute of Paper Conservation, Great Britain.

"I see this as a natural partnership on many levels but especially through our shared pursuits of education and conservation," observed Professor Ellis. "The Center has been designed to promote easy interchange between the Morgan's curatorial and conservation staff and will be a sought-after locus for graduate interns, postgraduate fellows, and visiting scholars from the conservation communities in this country and abroad. Open-plan workspaces, a large examination area, and seminar room will be conducive to small professional workshops and other continuing education activities. I am particularly excited by the opportunity to strengthen traditional connoisseurship studies.

"The Morgan's dedicated and talented conservators will continue their primary mission to preserve, protect, and interpret its magnificent collections, now bolstered by state-of-the-art facilities. The institution has a long tradition of supporting conservation education. Patricia Reyes, Andrew W. Mellon Conservator, and other staff have supervised graduate students in conservation for many years. As a provider of conservators-in-training, I continue to be in their debt. Eugene V. Thaw always envisioned the Center as a place to educate the next generation of caretakers."

"Professor Ellis brings to the position superior and wide-ranging skills, which she has acquired over twenty-four years of conservation treatment and research experience and fourteen years of teaching and administration at the Institute of Fine Arts. She will be a great asset to both the Morgan and the field of conservation," said Dr. Pierce. "We are delighted that she is joining the staff."