Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grants $1 million to support collaborative conservation

Photo: Burke Museum
Photo: Burke Museum
April 8, 2020 | Andrea Godinez

The University of Washington today announced a $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to advance shared conservation services among the Burke MuseumUW Libraries, and the Henry Art Gallery.

The goals of the five-year initiative, “Sustainable Cooperative Conservation Services at the University of Washington,” are to strengthen and secure a sustainable program for paper and photograph conservation at the UW, to expand shared conservation services, and to continue to leverage other Mellon-funded initiatives that further increase conservation capacity, conservation training, and outreach in the Pacific Northwest.

The Mellon grant will help address the unmet conservation needs of the extensive collections of photographs, prints and other works on paper across all three institutions. Many of the items in these collections are especially vulnerable to deterioration due to their material composition, making conservation imperative for their continued use and preservation.

The project will bring together staff expertise around common problems and solutions; however, the scope of the grant extends beyond conservation of materials alone. Through internships and increased outreach to students, the program seeks to attract a broad student demographic to the field of conservation and to advance efforts to make collections more available for teaching, research and exhibition.

“In addition to objects, archival collections such as photographs, manuscripts and maps are essential in understanding the world around us and provide a deeper level of understanding of the objects cared for by museums like the Burke,” Burke Museum Executive Director Dr. Julie K. Stein said. “We are honored to collaborate on not only the preservation of these important collections, but also in training new professionals in the field.”

The grant will also provide support for outreach and education, enabling staff to participate in other Mellon-funded initiatives and to host workshops, classes, and other professional development opportunities.


  • Andrea Godinez, Interim Director of Communications, 206-616-7538
  • Stephanie Lamson, Director, Preservation Services, 206-543-4890
  • Sandy Hawley, Libraries Communications Director, 206-543-9389
  • Tanja Baumann, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, 206-616-9625