Professor Sharon Cather receives the Plowden Medal Conservation Award
Professor Sharon Cather, Shelby White and Leon Levy Professor of Conservation Studies at The Courtauld Institute of Art, has been awarded the 2017 Plowden Medal for her extraordinary contribution to the conservation of wall paintings in particular, and the conservation of historic buildings in general. A pioneer in preventive conservation. She has inspired a broad and diverse body of conservators through her research, her teaching, and her dedication to preserving cultural heritage.
Professor Cather established the Conservation of Wall Painting Department at The Courtauld in the 1980s along with Professor David Park. At a time when wall painting conservation was still in its infancy, the new department set out to show that the way forward was to understand the causes of deterioration and ameliorate them, in preference to treating symptoms or restoring. It was among the first conservation centres to make use of emerging technologies, such as environmental data logging and computer-based documentation, and to develop control measures that could be implemented alongside remedial treatments. This set down the foundations for an approach to preventive conservation that remains the gold-standard today.