This summer, I had the opportunity to work as the Conservation Intern for EverGreene Architectural Arts, an award-winning conservation, restoration, decoration, and specialty construction firm. During my 7 weeks with EverGreene, I worked under the direction of a variety of people, spanning from conservation and safety, to marketing and restoration development.

One of the best parts about EverGreene is the willingness of each individual person to help out the other, which in my case, meant learning about many different aspects of the company. When working with the Director of Sacred Spaces, my research abilities was put to the test as I found churches painted by a certain artist. When working with the Marketing Director, I helped research possible projects for different groups within Evergreene and identifying painting inspiration found in different murals. When working with the Restoration Project Director, I helped answer emails of people looking to preserve and restore murals or even save murals in a building being torn down, by explaining the restoration process and suggesting whom they could contact in their area to help.

However, as the Conservation Intern, I spend the majority of my time doing conservation work under Avigail Charnov. A common task was the conditions assessment. During my time at EverGreene, I had the privilege of working in the United Nations General Assembly building. I, as well as another conservator, Emma, were tasked with assessing the conditions of the 24 110’+ dutch metal columns in the entrance lobby of the building. After creating an assessment sheet based off of drafts provided by the construction company, Emma and I set out to mark down conditions such as burns, scratches, and corrosion. After completing the conditions assessment after several days onsite, I went back to the office and created documentation for the client’s understanding of the conditions. It was quite the experience and the view of Roosevelt Island was to die for.

Scaff @ UN Scaff @ UN

Another task I was given during this internship was a paint analysis. Evergreene needed to develop a restorative paint scheme for an interior molding of a building and therefore conducted an investigation and documented the painted finishes for the crown-molding sample. After cleaning the samples, I investigated the painted finishes, prepared the samples, performed the microscopy and color analysis, and authored the report. It was the first report I had written of this kind and was of great interest to me.


Plaster Sample
Plaster sample received, after cleaning
A photomicrograph of sample, showing layers


One of the other fun assignments I had was working at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. At this site, I helped put the finishing touches on the woodwork of the Great Hall, helping clean, protect, and shine the beautiful and intricate woodwork of the room and the staircase.

Great Hall, Cooper Hewitt
The Great Hall, by James Rudnick
Staircase at Cooper Hewitt
Staircase after cleaning
Staircase at Cooper Hewitt
Waxing the woodwork

Overall, my time with Evergreene was absolutely wonderful!  I learned a lot, from many different people.  This internship not only taught me many skills, but solidified that conservation is exactly what I want to do.  I intend to continue my research in microscopy and identification of pigments through my thesis this upcoming year.