State of the Field: On Conservation and African American Art


September 22, 2022    
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

Time: 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Tickets: Tickets are $16 and include after-hours access to our American Art galleries. Member tickets are $14. Not a Member? Join today! 

Join Stephanie Sparling Williams, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, for a conversation about caring for nineteenth- and twentieth-century works by African American artists. The program begins with a close look at several paintings by Grafton Tyler Brown (1841–1918), including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone (1886), which was recently restored in the Museum’s conservation lab. Using Brown’s work as a starting point, this discussion will raise larger questions animating the fields of American art and conservation. Sparling Williams will be joined in dialogue by Anne Collins Smith, Director of the Xavier University of Louisiana Art Gallery; Ian McClure, formerly Chief Conservator at the Yale University Art Gallery and Director of Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage; Ellen Nigro, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Paintings Conservation, Brooklyn Museum; and Cynthia Schwarz, Senior Associate Conservator of Paintings, Yale Art Gallery.

This program is part of our Breaking the Canon series, developed with the Council for African American Art. Following the conversation, join Sparling Williams in our American Art galleries for after-hours viewing of Grand Canyon, Yellowstone.

This program will include ASL interpretation. For access needs, please email us at

Masks are required regardless of vaccination status.

Image caption and credit: Grafton Tyler Brown (American, 1841–1918). Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, 1886. Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Milton and Nancy Washington, 2012.92. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum)