Art Conservation: Rebecca Bachrach
Release date: November 21, 2006
As the 2006 Goucher II graduates make the transition to life after Goucher, Rebecca Bachrach, who graduated as an art major with a concentration in studio art and art history, has been working for a studio in Fells Point that specializes in art conservation. She began as a summer intern looking to fulfill the off-campus experience requirement in the summer of 2005, and she continued working part-time at the studio during her senior year. She accepted the offer of a full-time position following graduation and is gaining valuable experience as a conservator before she applies to graduate school.
Acting on a tip from Minda Heyman, the associate director of career development, Becca secured the internship, which offered several perks, including transportation to locations in Washington, D.C., where the studio had contracts. One of the sites was the U.S. Capitol, where Becca worked with others on restoring the frames of paintings hanging in the Rotunda. Perched on scaffolding high above the Visitor’s Gallery, Becca worked inch by inch on the frame, which she compared to “cleaning a 12x18 with a Q-tip.” She described the restoration of these priceless works as “microscopic,” requiring scalpels, syringes, spatulas, and dental instruments.
In addition to the work in the Capitol, Becca spent a good deal of time in the studio restoring rosettes on original and old reproductions of frames from the National Portrait Gallery. It is a very painstaking process that requires patience and an eye for detail. She praised her bosses for being good teachers and for giving her the opportunity to do “what I wanted to do.”
The internship affirmed Becca’s interest in being a conservator, which she thought about mostly in the abstract before doing the internship. The opportunity to learn from experts in the field and test her skills in working as a conservator proved very satisfying for Becca, who loves the work and is very pleased to have a full-time job immediately following graduation in a field of her choice.