Paper Conservator Appointed at the Amon Carter Museum

Release date: 
November 7, 2006

FORT WORTH, Texas --- Amon Carter Museum Director Ron Tyler announced today that Jodie Utter has been named paper conservator for the museum. She will examine, treat and research prints, drawings and watercolors from the Carter’s extensive collection of works on paper and illustrated books as well as loan objects. Utter will work alongside Sylvie Pénichon, conservator of photographs, in the museum’s state-of-the-art paper conservation lab.

The positions of paper conservator and conservator of photographs were made possible by the completion of a $3 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Jodie Utter brings a dimension to our staff that we have long needed because we have one of the most extensive works on paper collections in the country,” Tyler said. Part of that collection is now on view in the exhibition Audubon’s Passion through January 7, 2007.

Utter has more than 15 years of experience in paper conservation, working for the past six years as sole proprietor of East West Paper Conservation in Memphis, Tenn. Her academic training is in art conservation and science. She holds a B.A. in biology, with minors in chemistry and studio art from Western Washington University, and an M.S. in Art Conservation from Winterthur/University of Delaware. Utter has also held several positions as a conservator on a contract basis, including positions at the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

“I am very excited to join the staff of the Amon Carter Museum,” Utter said. “It is especially fulfilling to be part of an institution with such a strong collection of works on paper and a high level of scholarship.”

In addition to her work at Harvard and the MFA, Utter has taught several classes and lectured extensively about conservation. In her private practice she conducted numerous collection surveys of small museums for Heritage Preservation and had extensive experience working with large-scale wallpaper projects. She is a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, Western Association for Art Conservation and the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild.

About the Carter’s Paper Collection

The museum’s mission to “collect, preserve and exhibit the finest examples of American art” has been the driving force behind the development of the works on paper collection over the past 40 years. Although a lesser-known aspect of the museum’s collection than its superlative paintings, sculptures and photographs, the paper collection has been built to parallel and augment these holdings. It includes more than 600 watercolors and drawings covering a wide range of subjects–from views of the West by early-19th-century artist-explorers to 20th-century abstractions–and more than 5,700 prints, from lithographs of the Mexican War to complete sets of prints by George Bellows and Stuart Davis.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Amon Carter Museum received a $1.5 million gift upon completion of a $3 million challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This creates a $4.5 million endowment for two professional conservator positions in the museum’s paper conservation lab. The completion of the challenge grant marks the achievement of a long-term strategic goal of the museum to provide care for its collection of drawings, watercolors, prints, and photographs.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation makes grants in higher education, museums and art conservation, performing arts, conservation and the environment, and public affairs. Its program for art museums is designed to help “excellent institutions build and sustain their capacity to undertake serious scholarship on their permanent collections; to preserve these collections; and to share the results of their work in appropriate ways with scholarly and other audiences.” The art conservation program concentrates largely on advanced training for future generations of conservators, but it also supports fundamental work in developing fields such as conservation science, an area of increasing importance to conservation as a whole.