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Anna Vesaluoma, 2019/20

Postgraduate Diploma in Easel Painting Conservation
Courtauld Institute of Art

At The Courtauld, I undertook challenging treatments, including a complicated tear-mending and lining of a 20th century painting. The balance between supervised mentoring and independent work taught me to take ownership in treatment decisions, a skill which has been instrumental in my position at Yale. In Autumn 2019 I conducted a two-month research project at the Cultural Heritage Agency in Amsterdam, investigating the characterisation of synthetic organic pigments in early 20th century paintings using micro-Raman Spectroscopy. I presented my findings at the 38th annual Gerry Hedley Student Symposium in July 2020, which was held virtually.

As the pandemic brought new challenges, we adapted to new ways of learning. Despite the inherent difficulties in finishing a practical degree remotely, I benefitted from the exciting online lectures organised by The Courtauld, and I was extremely lucky to start my fellowship at Yale in September 2020. It has been thrilling to work in a museum, treating and researching paintings whilst surrounded by expert colleagues. Without my studies at The Courtauld and the generosity of the Anna Plowden Trust, my journey to where I am now would not have been possible.