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NEW YORK, NY, March 26, 2019. The Hispanic Society Museum & Library announces the appointment of Hélène Fontoira Marzin as Head of Conservation. Ms. Fontoira has been working at the Hispanic Society as a conservator of paintings and sculpture for seventeen years. With this appointment, the Hispanic Society continues its commitment to the conservation of its collection. Drawing on Ms. Fontoira’s expertise, the museum will stay abreast of the latest developments in conservation. As the museum increases its outreach, its works are reaching an ever greater public. Ms. Fontoira’s appointment is part of a broader directive to ensure that this is achieved with the greatest success while always maintaining a high level of care for the pieces.
Ms. Fontoira received her bachelor’s degree in conservation from the Escuela Superior de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales de Galicia in Spain. Ms. Fontoira continued her studies earning a post graduate degree from the Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique in Brussels, Belgium, and the Instituto per L’arte y el restauro in Florence, Italy. Most recently, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Assessment, Management and Protection of Cultural Heritage from the University of Vigo, Spain. Ms. Fontoira interned as a sculpture conservator at the Atelier Régional de Restauration, Domaine de Kerguehennec, France, and has extensive practical experience in a wide range of settings. She has collaborated on conservation projects with the Museo de Pontevedra, the Museo Nacional del Prado, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the Met she conserved the Hispanic Society’s Ecce homo (1661) by Valdés Leal (Seville, 1622-1690) under the supervision of Michael Gallagher, Sherman Fairchild Chairman of Paintings Conservation.
Working at the Hispanic Society, Ms. Fontoira has undertaken the treatment of many major works. These have ranged from late Gothic paintings attributed to the 15th-century Spanish master Bartolomé Bermejo, to canvases by Joaquín Sorolla (Valencia, 1863-Madrid, 1923). In sculpture she has conserved a diversity of pieces from the large Gothic polychromed wood relief Resurrection (ca. 1490) by Gil de Siloé (Spanish, active 1480-1500), to the exquisite terracottas by Luisa Roldán (Seville, 1652-Madrid, 1706). From her work at the Hispanic Society, Ms. Fontoira has become a recognized specialist in the conservation of Luisa Roldán’s terracottas, and more recently has conserved works for The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin TX).
About the Hispanic Society Museum & Library
The Hispanic Society Museum & Library, located in Upper Manhattan on Broadway between 155th and 156th Streets, was founded in 1904 by Archer Milton Huntington (1870-1955) with the objective of establishing a free public museum and reference library for the study of the art and culture of the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. The collections of books, manuscripts, and works of art assembled by the founder, along with subsequent acquisitions, are unparalleled in their scope and quality, addressing nearly every aspect of culture in Spain, Latin America, and Portugal. The museum collections offer an encyclopedic survey of the culture of the Iberian Peninsula from the Bronze Age to the present. Museum highlights include masterworks by El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and Sorolla; sculpture by Pedro de Mena and Luisa Roldán; Latin American paintings and sculpture by Vázquez, Luis Juárez, López de Arteaga, Rodríguez Juárez, Caspicara, Campeche, and Arrieta; as well as masterpieces in all areas of the decorative arts. The library is a preeminent center for research on the history, art, and culture of Spain, Latina America, and Portugal.
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