Before becoming Chief Conservator at the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2012, Serena Urry served as Senior Conservator of Paintings at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania, preparing its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection for the historic move to downtown Philadelphia. Prior to that, Ms. Urry was a conservator of paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan, where she conserved paintings ranging in date from the 14th to the 20th century. She has published and lectured about numerous conservation research and treatment projects.
Ms. Urry has a B.A. in art history from Tufts University, and an M.A. in art history and a Diploma in Conservation from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Past awards include a residency with the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy, and a fellowship with Save Venice in Venice, Italy.
Ms. Urry has conserved many major paintings in the CAM collection, including works by Cassatt, Mantegna, Monet, Murillo, Sargent and Strozzi. She curated the CAM exhibition Conservation on View: “The Retablo of Saint Peter” by Lorenzo Zaragoza.
Chandra Obie Linn is the Conservator of Textiles at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Ms. Linn started out as a costume designer, earning a B.A. in drama from Vassar College in 2005, before going on to earn an M.A. in textile conservation from the Textile Conservation Centre at the Winchester School of Art, England (2007). After graduate school in England, she worked briefly in New York City before heading to Canberra, Australia, to work at the National Gallery of Australia. At the NGA, Ms. Linn focused on costumes of the Ballet Russe, Southeast Asian textiles, and sometimes contemporary Aboriginal art including a possum-skin cloak and batiks.
CAM brought Ms. Linn to Cincinnati in 2012, where she assembled the first textile conservation lab at CAM. She has worked on several notable projects including samurai armor, contemporary fashion and fiber sculpture, and the Joseph Urban bedroom. Ms. Linn has been a professional member of the American Institute of Conservation (AIC) since 2015. She has published and presented to various groups including AIC, the Midwest Region Conservation Guild, and the North American Textile Conservators’ Conference.
Cecile Mear, Conservator of Works on Paper, has worked at the Cincinnati Art Museum since 1993. She earned her Master of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Study in Art Conservation from Buffalo State College, Buffalo, New York and a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to moving to Cincinnati she was a paper conservator at the Balboa Art Conservation Center in San Diego, California and completed internships at the Intermuseum Conservation Association, Oberlin, Ohio and the Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, New York.
Ms. Mear is responsible for the care and conservation of all works on paper in the Museum’s collection, including prints, drawings, photographs, books, Asian paintings and portrait miniatures. Exhibitions to which she has contributed include Albrecht Dürer: The Age of Reformation and Renaissance, Masterpieces of Japanese Art, The Amazing American Circus Poster: The Strobridge Lithographing Company, and Perfect Likeness: European and American Portrait Miniatures from the Cincinnati Art Museum. Ms. Mear is a Fellow of the American Institute of Conservation and is a past officer of the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild.
Kelly Rectenwald, Conservator of Objects, joined the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2014. In her role, she cares for all three-dimensional works of art in the collection. Ms. Rectenwald has treated objects in several major permanent gallery reinstallations, including Ancient Middle East (2020), Antiquities (2015), African Art (2016), Islamic ceramics (2021), and South Asia (2021). She has also conserved works for several temporary exhibitions including Dressed to Kill: Japanese Arms and Armor (2017), Cincinnati Silver (2014), and Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom by Josheph Urban (2021).
Ms. Rectenwald has over 10 years of experience in the field of conservation and has held the designation of Professional Associate from the American Institute of Conservation since 2017. Ms. Rectenwald holds a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Chemistry from Olivet College, and an MA and MSc in objects conservation from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Outside of work she enjoys making ceramics and is a member of the Cincinnati Clay Alliance.