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Eleanor Hasler

CFA_Eleanor HaslerAfter completing a BA in History of Art and doing various temping jobs in London, I was keen to specialise in a career that crossed the Art and Science realms.  I wanted to work with artworks, preferably within the museum and gallery field, but knew I was more suited to a technical role rather than curatorial one.  I knew a paper conservator, spent some time in her studio and was fascinated by the work she did and so decided to apply for the MA.

What are you doing now?

I am currently a Paper  Conservator at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  I work on all paper based items in need of conservation within their extensive library, art and archive collections.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

The MA at Northumbria gave me the skills and qualification needed to start a career in conservation.  The course gave me a sound knowledge of the theory behind the practices as well as getting me up to speed with the necessary chemistry and physics information.  The practical side of the course was essential for giving me the skills needed to complete treatments successfully and giving me the confidence to practice them when I went on placements mid-course and when I got my first job.

What was the best thing about your course?

We worked on a variety of artworks on paper which gave us the opportunity to research and practice a number of different treatment options.  The course also allowed us to investigate each artwork thoroughly so that the history and provenence of the objects were considered when putting forward treatment proposals.

Who inspired you the most, and why?

My tutor was very supportive and encouraging especially when I started applying for jobs towards the end of the course.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

The practical skills acquired were invaluable and I still sometimes refer to my course notes as they were very thorough.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The small size of the class meant that we worked closely with each other, sharing ideas and thoughts and supporting each other during dead-line time.  Time spent in the studio working on objects lent by institutions such as the National Trust was very enjoyable and rewarding.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Make sure that conservation is what you want to do in your future career as the course can be very intense and hard work and you may need to volunteer during and after the course before you get your first job.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Hands-on, Intense, Informative

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