avatar for Susan Blakney, [Fellow]

Susan Blakney, [Fellow]

West Lake Conservators, Ltd.
Chief Conservator
Skaneateles, NY
Susan is a senior level paintings conservator, distinguished as Fellow in both the AIC (American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works) and the IIC (International Institute for Conservation). She received a B.A. in Studio Art from the University of Kentucky in 1969. After six years of apprenticeship, in London England in the private studio of IIC Fellow, William Fraser Lowe with a concentration in 17th c. Old Masters. Susan returned to America in 1975, to establish her private practice in the Town of Skaneateles, New York. In 1981, she incorporated her business as West Lake Conservators, Ltd. where she continues as Chief Conservator. Susan served as a director of the AIC sub group Conservators in Private Practice for three terms of two years each, and was Vice President of the CNY Conservation Guild. After Hurricane Katrina, Susan was selected by AIC to join a volunteer team surveying cultural damage along the Mississippi Coast for one week, Nov. 4, 2005, with the AASLH (American Association of State and Local History) team 4. This began her interest in “Disaster Recovery” and after returning from Mississippi, Susan organized and hosted a workshop “Recovery of Wet Materials Following a Disaster,” presented by Barbara Moore and MJ Davis, with Gary Albright and Susan Blakney in December 2005. The workshop was attended by all staff and 18 participants nationwide.In 2007 she was selected as one of 61 volunteer conservators nationwide to be trained as rapid responders on an American Institute for Conservation’s Collections Emergency Response Team (AIC-CERT), now known as the National Heritage Responders (NHR). In 2010 she was deployed to Galveston Texas after Hurricane Ike and in 2010 she was deployed to Port Au Prince, Haiti with a team from the Smithsonian after their devastating earth quake.Susan‘s contribution to the field of conservation include organizing and hosting more than 7 professional workshops, researching and testing lining systems in the early eighties, finding, testing and introducing new support materials adopted from industry, for easel sized to oversized murals, now used in practice nation-wide by many other conservators.