Conservation Internship Program
To learn more about upcoming internship opportunities, click here.
The Center’s Conservation Internship Program trains young conservators from all over the United States and the world. Many are completing their education in graduate programs in conservation. Others are gaining experience prior to entering a conservation program. The residents function as part of the conservation staff during their tenure in Cody. They examine objects, write reports, and carry out treatments and individual projects such as collection condition surveys. The Chief Conservator works closely with the residents ensuring the quality of the training and the treatment of the collections.
For more information on our Conservation Internship program, e-mail Chief Conservator Beverly Perkins or call 307-578-4029.
Allison Rosenthal is from Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2015 with a degree in art history and chemistry, and she is currently enrolled in the bookbinding program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. She has previously interned at conservation labs at the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, the Newberry Library, and the New York Academy of Medicine. While at the Center of the West, Allison is leading a study on x-ray fluorescence analysis of Alexander Phimister Proctor’s bronze sculptures, supervising and participating in the treatment of a collection of flood-damaged books, and treating a variety of other objects.
After finishing up her internship in Cody, Allison heads to the Amon Carter Museum in Texas to work in the paper conservation lab and expand her research on Proctor, and then back to Boston to continue her bookbinding education.
Claire Pfister grew up on a ranch in Wyoming and is a sophomore at Cody High School. She is a dancer at Rocky Mountain School of the Arts, and she loves art and the outdoors. She enjoyed working in conservation this summer, and the people she had the opportunity to meet. Claire cleaned an oil painting by H.H. Cross as well as its frame. She also worked on a bone of an Ichthyosaur, a Native American breast plate, and a bronze sculpture outside of the museum.
The best part of her internship at the Center of the West was seeing the huge variety of objects and procedures that are involved in conservation.
Effie Clark is currently a high school senior in Cody, Wyoming. She is taking advanced art classes at Northwest College and is a dancer and art enthusiast. Her mother is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and is a current outerwear designer. At her first summer at the Center of the West, Effie evaluated more than two hundred Buffalo Bill’s Wild West posters. She has a great admiration for the people she works with and is continuously amazed at the amount of knowledge and detail that goes into every project and every artifact.
This summer Effie cleaned a painting by H.H. Cross from 1899 that was hanging in the Irma Hotel cafe. The painting was left there unbacked for 35 years and was soaked with nicotine stains. In the future, Effie would like to pursue an education in art and also travel the world to further expand her education on the history of different societies.
Luisa Walter is an artist from Saxony, Germany. She got her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and is a participant of the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange program for young professionals. She studied Art and Graphic Design at Northwest College for two semesters and will continue with her studies in Germany, majoring in Art and English.
Her goal is to pursue a career in museum studies. “This internship gives me the great opportunity to look behind the scenes and get direction and guidance in my future plans. I really enjoy the work in the conservation lab.” Luisa worked this summer on two Indian head dresses, Ichthyosaur bones, and an Alaskan bear sculpture.
Michael Tusay is from North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and is a Lycoming College graduate. At Lycoming, he double majored in History and Archaeology and minored in Chemistry and Medieval Studies. Prior to coming to the Center of the West, his previous conservation experiences include Carnegie Mellon University Library, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History. He is currently a pre-program conservation student with a strong interest in conservation science.
This summer, Michael has been working on a Proctor XRF-analysis project, Plains Indian objects, sculptures, Ichthyosaur bone fragments, and a comparative hair analysis to identify an unknown museum artifact.
Nicole Schmidt graduated from Buffalo State College with a BA in Art History and minors in Chemistry and German. She is a pre-program conservation student and has returned to Buffalo Bill Center of the West for a second summer. Her prior internships include: National Parks Service at Harpers Ferry Center, Russell-Marti Conservation Services, and Laura Schell Paper Conservation.
This summer Nicole is working on a Proctor XRF-Analysis project, Ichthyosaur fossils, a 1600s matchlock firearm, Native American mittens, a wax sculpture, and following up treatment on a taxidermy bison. Following this summer, she plans to return to Buffalo and later Atlanta, Georgia, for further internships.
Tyler Loveless grew up in a small town outside of Denver, Colorado. He is currently working toward his Associate of Applied Science degree in gunsmithing at Trinidad State Junior College. Although Tyler is mainly working in the Conservation Department as a Center of the West intern, he has had many opportunities to work with firearms in the Cody Firearms Museum, including a German matchlock musket from the early 1600s. Tyler got to meet and work with Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons, and he has been able to document the Class III firearms within the Cody Firearms Museum.
Along with the German matchlock, Tyler has worked on many other projects in the Conservation lab, such as a pair of privately owned Native American mittens, a privately owned lamp, and three pieces of bone from an Ichthyosaur including a fin. During his time working as a conservation intern, he has learned many new skills, and has built connections with many valuable resources.
Vanessa Ocaña-Mayor was born in Peru and lived there until age 11, when she and her family moved to Florida. She received a BFA in Sculpture and BA in Anthropology from the University of Florida in 2014. Vanessa’s previous conservation experiences include working at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco (Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco–CTTC), and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (summer 2015). She is a pre-program conservation student hoping to specialize in Textile Conservation, and is part of the 2016 Center of the West summer conservation internship squad.
This summer Vanessa has been working on a Proctor XRF-analysis project, an Ichtyosaur leg bone, a Plains Indian storage bag, and a book from the McCracken Library.
Kevin Page first learned about the conservation lab on a class visit with his junior year art class. Very interested by the art and chemistry involved, he asked if there was any way a high school student could be hired as an intern. He was accepted and has been learning a great deal while still being able to put money away for college. Kevin considers this by far the best “job” he’s ever had. “It hasn’t ever really felt like a job because whenever I come in, I know I’m going to learn something new and have a good time doing it,” he says. “For the future, I probably won’t be going into conservation, but it was amazing being able to see how the profession works.” He’s sure the experience will help him later on in life. Kevin plans to go into a chemistry-related profession, either chemical engineering or anesthesiology. He says, “this has been one of the best opportunities that I have been given in my life—if I could do it again, I would jump at the opportunity.”
Cristiana Ginatta, an Italian national about to become an American citizen, is from Dallas. She double-majored in accounting and marketing, specializing in non-profit organizations and museums. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the most prestigious business school in Italy. After years working in her family’s business, she enrolled at the University of Texas at Arlington to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to work in conservation. Cristiana was recognized with a research paper award in art history, and joined the Honor Student roll with a 4.0 GPA. She is currently working with an AIC Professional Member in painting conservation, and preparing to apply to graduate school. During her internship at the Center of the West, she gained experience treating a variety of ethnographic artifacts, books, textiles, and metals.
Stephanie Cashman is from Denver, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Denver with a BFA in pre-art conservation and a minor in chemistry. Prior to coming to the Center of the West, she worked in private conservation labs specializing in objects and textiles. During her time at the Center, Stephanie worked on Plains Indian objects as well as ceramics, outdoor sculpture, books, and more. After her time in Cody, Stephanie heads back to Denver in pursuit of other internships and to prepare to apply to graduate school in art conservation.
Anahit Campbell is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a graduate student in the Conservation of Books and Library Materials program at West Dean College in the United Kingdom. Her interests are in medieval Armenian manuscripts, and in conservation science.
She is gaining experience at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West by completing treatments on the rare books collection.
Blanca Guerra is from Granada, Spain. She studied conservation and restoration, specializing in works on paper and antique books. She is very likeable and very curious. She greatly enjoys doing new things and discovering new places, cultures, people, and more. She has previously worked as an intern in a private lab in Nîmes, France,working with drawings and books. Now, she is working with antique books here in the Center of the West’s Conservation Department. Blanca is sure this experience will be unforgettable, and is hoping to learn so much and do a good job.
Zulema Marin was born in Madrid, Spain. She studied at ESCRBC, Escuela Superior de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales or School of Cultural Property Conservation and Restoration of Madrid, specializing in works on paper and antique books. She completed her studies in Rome at the Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata. She currently lives in Germany while she works toward a Bachelor of Tourism for the UNED, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. In her leisure time, Zulema loves to travel, learn languages (Italian, English and German), study history, and do photography.
Her practices at the Center of the West focused on books in the McCracken Research Library Collection. She also treated textiles, a variety of Plains Indian artifacts, and outdoor bronze sculptures in the museum’s collection.
Katrina Zacharias graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in December 2013, where she studied Art History, Fine Arts, and Chemistry. Her previous conservation experience includes volunteering in the conservation lab in the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City and working for Russell-Marti Conservation Services, Inc. in California, Missouri. After finishing her internship in the conservation lab at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West this fall, she plans on applying to graduate school for art conservation.
Beverly Nadeen Perkins
Our conservation internship program is led by Beverly Nadeen Perkins. A graduate of the Cooperstown (now Buffalo) program in conservation, Perkins is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation. She is a certified AIC-CERT emergency responder for cultural institutions. She coordinated the AIC volunteer response to Hurricane Katrina, as well as participated on the ground in Mississippi and Louisiana after Katrina, and most recently in Haiti.
Perkins serves on the board of the Western Association for Art Conservation and the board of the Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums. She is currently the Chief Conservator at the Center of the West and adjunct faculty in Art History at Northwest College. She served as the NEH Western Field Service Officer and as the coordinator of the IMLS Connecting to Collections Planning Project for Wyoming. Perkins has lectured extensively on disaster recovery for museum collections, collections care topics, and conservation issues. She has worked as a conservator for large institutions such as Winterthur Museum and the Brooklyn Museum, and has carried out more than fifty surveys of collecting institutions of all sizes. Perkins is on the board of Heritage Preservation, the Smithsonian Affiliate Advisory Committee, and the Buffalo Bill Art Show Committee.
Visit this page to meet interns from the past few years.