The Morgan Library & Museum announces new appointments

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The Morgan Library & Museum announces new appointments
Rebecca Pollak, Associate Paper Conservator.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Morgan Library & Museum has announced five appointments across its curatorial, conservation, and merchandising departments. Sarah W. Mallory joins as Annette and Oscar de la Renta Assistant Curator of Drawings and Prints, Rebecca Pollak joins as Associate Paper Conservator, and Aubrey Herr joins the Morgan as Director of Merchandising Services. Rounding out the appointments are two new Belle da Costa Greene Curatorial Fellows: Emerald Lucas in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, and Samantha Mohite in the Departments of Printed Books and Bindings and Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

“It is my pleasure to welcome these five outstanding individuals to the Morgan,” said Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Our staff across our curatorial, conservation, and merchandising departments shape how the Morgan engages with the public in our mission to provide access to one of the world’s finest collections of manuscripts, printed books, and drawings. I look forward to working with each of them to present our collections in exhibitions and programs to come.”

Sarah W. Mallory, Annette and Oscar de la Renta Assistant Curator of Drawings and Prints

Sarah W. Mallory is a specialist in early modern Northern European art, with a focus on Dutch and Flemish works on paper. Her dissertation, which she is now completing at Harvard University, looks to environmental and colonial histories to interpret depictions of wetlands in seventeenth-century Dutch art. Sarah is currently the Morgan’s Drawing Institute Predoctoral Research Fellow and will begin her post as the Annette and Oscar de la Renta Assistant Curator of Drawings and Prints in September. Her responsibilities will include the museum’s collection of more than eight hundred drawings by Dutch, Flemish, German, and Scandinavian artists, and over five hundred lifetime impressions of Rembrandt’s etchings. She previously held internships and positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Harvard Art Museums, and the Frick Collection. She holds a B.A. in Science, Technology, and Culture Studies from the Georgia Institute of Technology; an M.A. in Design History from Parsons School of Design; and an M.A. in Art History from the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. In 2021, she co-organized the international conference “Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures,” and is co-editor of the ensuing volume (Brill, 2024), which is supported by the Kress Foundation. Mallory’s work has appeared in Master Drawings, and recent publications include an essay on images of Dutch Mauritius, in Dutch Golden Age(s): The Shaping of a Cultural Community (Brepols, 2021).

Rebecca Pollak, Associate Paper Conservator

Rebecca Pollak joined the Thaw Conservation Center as Associate Paper Conservator on March 20, 2023. She came to the Morgan from the Paper Conservation department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she was dedicated to their Modern and Contemporary collection. Prior to the Met, Rebecca worked as a paper conservator and conservation scientist in both private and institutional labs including Scientific Analysis of Fine Art, LLC, the Cooper Hewitt, Barnes Foundation, Sotheby’s Scientific Research Department, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art. She has lectured on the technical study and instrumental analysis of paper artworks, and has led various workshops on conservation treatment as well as historical and contemporary paint manufacture for conservators, historians, and artists throughout North America.

Rebecca has published on the materials and techniques used by Yves Tanguy and Amedeo Modigliani, and her research on American watercolor materials is included in the exhibition catalogue American Watercolor in the Age of Homer and Sargent, curated by Kathleen A. Foster at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has received research grants from Bard Graduate Center and the Getty Research Institute, and contributed to the IMLS grant publication “Descriptive Terminology for Works of Art on Paper: Guidelines for the Accurate and Consistent Description of Materials and Techniques of Drawings, Prints, and Collages.” Rebecca developed her knowledge of artists’ materials during her years as manager and technical advisor for Kremer Pigments Inc, through assisting printing artist editions at the Lower East Side Print Shop, and as a photographer at Art on Paper magazine. Rebecca received an M.A. and C.A.S. in Art Conservation from SUNY Buffalo State University and a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Aubrey Herr, Director of Merchandising Services

Aubrey Herr brings to the Morgan an extensive background in museum retail that encompasses strategic leadership, merchandise planning, product development, and e-commerce management. Herr believes that mission- based retail forms a vital part of the museum experience, connecting art and people to the past and future of creative thought and expression with unique products and thoughtful service.

Herr is honored to be a part of the award-winning Morgan Shop and to enhance the retail experience for its visitors. She strives to develop a shopping experience that generates discovery, learning, and creativity through uncommon finds, beautiful products, and a space that is welcoming and accessible for all. Actively engaged with the Museum Store Association (MSA), she has served on its national board of directors in the Education Advisory Group, and as Co-Chair of the MSA Next Committee for young professionals. Herr holds a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and joined the Morgan in March 2023, after spending 16 years at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, where her passion for museum retail began.

Emerald Lucas, Belle da Costa Greene Curatorial Fellow, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

Emerald Lucas is currently pursuing an M.A. in Art History at Hunter College, where she is a recipient of the Edna Wells Luetz/Frederick P. Riedel Endowed Scholarship.
She received a B.A. in Art History from Hunter College in 2021, graduating with departmental honors. Prior to joining the Morgan, she worked as a Research Assistant to Dr. Colin Eisler, Professor Emeritus at the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. In that role, Lucas located hard-to-find provenance documents and gathered evidence to confirm or dispute the authenticity of suspected forgeries. Corresponding with museum professionals and gaining insight into collection management issues sparked a desire to pursue a career in the museum field.

Lucas’s own research has centered on global interconnectedness in the medieval world, especially in trade and cultural exchange between Europe, Africa, and Asia. She is currently working on her master’s thesis on the production and usage of pomanders as a means of warding off disease and evil spirits. These decorative objects, which originated in the Near East and became widely popular in Europe, were filled with compounds imported from all over the known world. Lucas hopes that scholarship on these objects will shine a light on the spread of material goods and cultural beliefs among medieval people.

Lucas is honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the Belle da Costa Greene Curatorial Fellowship and looks forward to working with the renowned scholars in the Morgan’s Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts Department. She is confident that the knowledge gained during this fellowship will help prepare her for a career in a museum or special collection.

Samantha Mohite, Belle da Costa Greene Curatorial Fellow, Departments of Printed Books and Bindings and Literary and Historical Manuscripts

Sam Mohite recently completed a Master of Information from Rutgers University, following a departure from her first degree studies in astrophysics and art history.
Interested in supporting the research process in the arts, Mohite returned to Rutgers and transitioned to studying information in cultural institutions after the onset of the pandemic.

Over her course of study, Mohite participated in various multidisciplinary projects, spanning the analysis of space science data, the design of TEDx conferences, and the construction of library catalogs and metadata implementation plans. An avid reader and writer in both hobby and profession, Mohite feels most at home in the midst of the research process—learning and synthesizing knowledge, as well as organizing and presenting information. She is currently interested in critical cataloging, with a goal of bringing more queer, mixed-race perspectives like her own into the museum and special collections fields.

Mohite’s passions for research, social justice, librarianship, and visual art converge in her appointment as a Belle da Costa Greene Curatorial Fellow. She is looking forward to working with the distinguished curators in the Departments of Printed Books and Bindings and Literary and Historical Manuscripts and to working on the upcoming exhibition focused on Belle da Costa Greene, which marks the 2024 centenary of the Morgan’s life as a public institution.

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