Internship Spotlight: Nathan Hosmer

Nathan assists in a collaboration between objects and painting conservation to do a cleaning of a Lucas Samaras contemporary piece. He is using tweezers and a rag to remove any loose fibers or pieces of dust.

We caught up with Art History minor Nathan Hosmer (BA ‘24) who is interning this summer with the Conservation Department at the VMFA. Within the VMFA’s internship program there’s an undergraduate intern in each of three areas of conservation; paintings, works on paper, and objects. Nathan is working with the painting conservators assisting in tasks such as making backing boards for paintings and helping to install hardware for frames. He’s also shadowing conservators to observe their treatment practices.

“Throughout the internship I’ve been working on my own treatment under the supervision of the conservators of a nineteenth century British Sporting painting by James Barenger. Before I could start treatment, I had to write up a condition report and then plan out what treatment I believed to be appropriate. Today I just started the surface cleaning (the first part of my treatment plan). It’s super exciting to reveal the painting’s beauty with just a simple cleaning procedure.” 

Nathan cleans the back of the Barenger piece with a brush and vacuum.

For Nathan, this internship was crucial in helping him to evaluate his own interest in conservation and preparing applications for graduate school. “I became interested in art conservation because of the integral role that art history plays in the treatment of artwork. A big reason why I chose to major in Art History was my freshman honors art history class with Dr. Phinizy. I’ve always loved history but was never introduced to art history until taking her class during  my freshman year. Dr. Phinizy did a great job of introducing us to what Art History research can look like and why it’s so relevant to contemporary life.”