Home / About the Libraries / News Events Exhibits / News & Announcements / Claire Kenny is UW Libraries and Henry Art Gallery conservator for paper and photographs

Claire Kenny is UW Libraries and Henry Art Gallery conservator for paper and photographs

October 20, 2017

The University of Washington Libraries and Henry Art Gallery announce that, following a nation-wide search, Claire Kenny has been chosen as the new Joint Associate Conservator for Paper and Photographs. This is a three-year appointment and is funded by a $300,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Kenny began work October 9.

Reporting to both the Libraries and the Henry, Kenny will focus on collections which have been prioritized for review, assessment, and conservation to make the works available as soon as possible for researchers:

  • Regional photographs from early works by Edward S. Curtis to the Seattle Camera Club to Mary Randlett (Libraries)
  • The Stimson Bullitt Collection of 19th century European prints and the Albert Feldmann Collection of 15th – 18th century European prints (Henry)
  • Rare Chinese stele rubbings, and maps and engravings documenting early exploration of the Pacific Northwest (Libraries)
  • The recently acquired Collection of American Photographs 1970-1980 from the Washington Art Consortium (WAC).  (Henry)

Kenny received a Master of Arts, Conservation of Fine Art, at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom (2012), and a B.A. in Art History and a Minor in Contemporary Dance from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (2005).

She served as Preservation Services Manager and Assistant Conservator at the Center for Jewish History in New York, from 2014-2016. She has extensive experience in conservation treatment of paper-based archival materials, including professional and internship experience at New York University Division of Libraries, The Morgan Library and Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New-York Historical Society.

Claire commented, “I am excited to contribute to the preservation or art and cultural materials at the University of Washington and am delighted to join the UW community.”

Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson, Vice Provost for Digital Initiatives and Dean of University Libraries, said, “We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Henry in conserving paper and photographs in order to make them available for researchers and the public. Claire Kenny is uniquely qualified to lead us in that direction, and we are pleased that she has chosen to take on this role.”

“We are thrilled to have a conservator of Claire Kenny’s caliber on campus,” says Sylvia Wolf, John S. Behnke Director of the Henry. “Her work will be invaluable to the preservation of our works on paper.”

Located on the University of Washington campus, Henry Art Gallery serves as a creative forum, bringing together a broad range of experiences and points of view, connecting new ideas in art to new ideas of all kinds. Free to UW staff and faculty, and all students, the museum provides a platform for discovery and inspiration through up-close experiences with contemporary art and ideas.

The University of Washington Libraries is a network of more than 16 academic research libraries serving three campuses: Seattle, UW Bothell, and UW Tacoma, and is home to the largest library collection in the Pacific Northwest with over 9 million books, journals, millions of microforms, thousands of maps, rare books, film, audio and video recordings.

# # # # #


  • Stephanie Lamson, Director, Libraries Preservation Services, salamson@uw.edu 206-543-4890
  • A.C. Petersen, Libraries Communications Officer, acpete@uw.edu 206-543-9389
  • Dana Van Nest, Associate Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations, press@henryart.org 206-616-9625