Katherine Katzer

GSAL | Current Student

“After graduating in 2013, from the University of Chicago, with a degree in English and Art History, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career-wise at all. I found a great program in Southern Italy for the summer that offered training workshops in art conservation, and instantly fell in love with the work we were doing there. We helped to conserve an oil painting and its original frame from the 17th century and frescoes that dated back to the 14th – I was hooked. I was lucky enough to find a similar program in Nepal that fall, but upon looking into more professional programs and outlets in the US, I was sad to see that volunteer opportunities mostly started and ended abroad. To work in a museum doing research, I would need a professional art conservation degree – and two more years of science, on top of the studio art, art history, and hands on work I had already acquired in undergrad. While this was a daunting task, the GSAL program allowed me to conquer these goals almost immediately. Various administrators helped me get enrolled in my desired Chemistry courses within weeks of inquiring if I could take classes at the University again. I am now almost half-way towards getting all of the necessary science credits I need to apply to the small handful of Masters programs in art conservation. Working as a Graduate Student-at-Large at the University of Chicago allows me the flexibility to gain credits at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, while still having time to work an internship at The Conservation Center, in Chicago’s West Loop. This will be essential when I’m applying to programs this upcoming fall, as only a small amount of students are given spots each year. As something as niche as art conservation, finding a program like GSAL was a life saver when trying to make up those last few credits before Graduate school, as it gives me the flexibility to take Chemistry, alongside anything else I need to complete my application. I’ve been really grateful for all of the help along the way, and am very excited that I am now on my way to becoming an art conservator.”