Catch me if you can!

Here is the problem with a blog: one begins it assuming that the status quo will remain, and then life happens and you realize that months, if not actual years have gone by.

A quick update: At this point, I am almost done with my time at NYU. Next year is my internship year, which will take me to Cambridge, MA to the Weissman Preservation Center, where I will be one of two interns in the lab. My fellow intern is from the Buffalo art conservation program, and after having spent three weeks last summer with her at the Gary Frost workshop, I am excited to have the chance to work with her again.

(I seriously cannot overemphasize my excitement at being able to spend more time with her, as well as with another classmate of hers who will also be in Boston. They’re both awesome people and I think we’re going to enjoy ourselves immensely).

There still remain a few weeks of this term, however. My thesis is due next week and I am somehow still not sick of it. Since NYU confers a Master’s Degree in Art History, it’s primarily an art history paper, but about Marguerite Duprez Lahey, the first in-house bookbinder at the Morgan Library & Museum, who rebound many of the books in the collection in the first half of the twentieth century. In my paper, I got to delve into her biography, discuss whether her work counts as fine binding or conservation, and try to figure out who made the binding decisions – Marguerite herself or her employers. I also got to go through some of her archives at the Library, including her press clippings, which made me newly grateful for the feminists who have gone before me. Here’s a representative quote featuring Marguerite in her studio:

“Not only delicacy of touch but much physical strength is imperative,” smiled this charming girl, wielding as if it were a golf club the fifty-pound crowbar in the tightening of the press.


About Saira

Saira is a newly fledged book conservator currently working in Saint Paul, MN.
This entry was posted in art history, book conservation, museums and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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