Ariana Makau ’93

“During my junior year abroad in Paris, I took my first class in stained glass. I was immediately enamoured with the medium. In my senior year, I created a life-size, stained glass self-portrait, and was certain that my future lay in that art form.”

Stained Glass Conservator

Ariana Makau ’93

“Scripps provided me with a forum in which I felt safe to cultivate my ideas. As a result, I graduated with a strong sense of self-confidence that I have used throughout my life and career. When I started at Scripps, I knew I wanted to major in Fine Arts, but I also had other interests. I was able to take classes in Biology, Philosophy, Anthropology and Music while still pursuing my art degree.

During my junior year abroad in Paris, I took my first class in stained glass. I was immediately enamoured with the medium. In my senior year, I created a life-size, stained glass self-portrait, and was certain that my future lay in that art form. A professor suggested that I might apply for a summer internship at the J. Paul Getty Museum. While there, I’d be exposed to various types of careers related to the arts, and I might find one that appealed to me. That internship was the springboard for what has turned out to be my career. I’m indebted to Scripps and the Getty for providing me with that opportunity.”

Immediately after graduating from Scripps in 1993, Ariana interned in the Antiquities Conservation Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum in its first year of the Getty Undergraduate Summer Internship Program. Realizing that conservation combined her interests in the arts, science and history; she enrolled in the Masters Program at the Victoria & Albert Museum/ Royal College of Art, in London, England. She was awarded a full scholarship from the J. Paul Getty Trust for all three years of the Program. In 1997, she received a Masters in Stained Glass Conservation, becoming the first woman and second person in the world to do so.After the RCA, she spent a year in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art supported by a Samuel H. Kress Foundation Fellowship for Advanced Training in Conservation. There, she conserved various glass objects at the Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation including: stained glass panels of John La Farge and Daniel Cottier; and lamps, panels and a favrile fountain for the “Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition” (July 26, 1998 – January 31, 1999).Since the fall of 1998, when she returned to the West Coast, she has divided her time between two related jobs in her profession. At a Bay Area stained glass studio she acts as a “Jacqueline of all trades”: archiving, restoring/conserving stained glass windows, as well as re/installing them on-site. One of the company’s recent achievements was restoring all the windows in the apse of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

As an Independent Stained Glass Conservator/Consultant, she works with various art institutions that do not have stained glass conservators on staff. Some of her clients include: Stanford University Memorial Church, Stanford’s Iris & Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, and the Henry E. Huntington Library & Art Gallery. She was elated to return to the J. Paul Getty Museum to conserve two 16th-Century Dutch Panels and to subsequently provide a Gallery Talk on the exhibit “Painting on Light: Drawings and Stained Glass in the Age of Durer and Holbein”. (July -September 2000).