Josephine Ren ’19

“Scripps’ art conservation major is unique and interdisciplinary, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the intersection of art, science, and cultural heritage.”

Josephine graduated in 2019 with a major in Art Conservation and a minor in Art History. Her senior thesis surveyed the Scripps collection of Islamic ceramics, and discussed proposals for long-term care as well as the importance of preventive conservation. From finding her first job on campus to executing thesis research, Josephine cites the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (RCWG) as a significant resource throughout her time at Scripps:

“The RCWG intern program spearheaded by Professor Mary Macnaughton has proven to be invaluable for me and many others who are interested in the arts. As a RCWG Wilson Conservation Intern, I received initial hands-on experience while working under private conservator Donna Williams. This internship effectively set me up to attain a breadth of conservation experience, including internships at the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, and a selective workshop sponsored by the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation/American Institute for Conservation. I also worked in collections at the Pomona College Museum of Art (now the Benton Museum), thus highlighting the rich opportunities available cross-campus. Additionally, I spent a semester abroad at SACI Florence studying Italian conservation of paintings, murals, and archaeological artifacts.”

“My past projects range from rehousing contemporary objects by artists like Takashi Murakami to researching historic salt print processes and treating a 19th-century Gitxsan totem pole. I currently work as a conservation assistant for two private practices, RLA Conservation and Los Angeles Art Conservation, and am preparing to apply for graduate programs.

The opportunities granted to me via the RCWG and Scripps College have been fundamental to my pursuit of a career in conservation. I am so grateful for the tremendous support I received from faculty and Gallery staff. Scripps’ art conservation major is unique and interdisciplinary, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the intersection of art, science, and cultural heritage.”

Josephine is always open to talking about her experiences thus far, so if you are ever interested please feel free to get in touch!