Assistant Coordinator, Training
Sheri Saperstein was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Los Angeles. After high school she went east, to Massachusetts, to attend Wellesley College. At Wellesley she majored in medieval and Renaissance studies, and also served as a programmer at the college radio station. During college she spent a winter term at the University of York, England, and enjoyed it so much that after graduation she moved to London. There, she found a job assisting the decorative arts editor of The Dictionary of Art, a 34-volume reference work produced by the Macmillan publishing house. On weekends, she volunteered for the Friends of the Tate Gallery.
After a year in England, she returned to California and soon began work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as a registrarial assistant, participating in the general management of the collections and the processing of deaccessions. A year and a half later she was promoted to assistant registrar and given responsibility for the registration of traveling exhibitions, including Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany; A Primal Spirit: Ten Contemporary Japanese Sculptors; and Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection.
It was at LACMA that she became interested in conservation, thinking about works of art as objects requiring special handling and treatment. She first heard about the work of the GCI when she attended a lecture series on conservation, and she was pleased to learn of an opening in the Training Program. Since joining the Institute in June 1991, she has worked on the organization and coordination of a number of courses and conferences. She has particularly enjoyed her work on the 1993 Institute open house, the GCI publication Readings in Conservation, the 1995 symposium on panel paintings co-organized with the Getty Museum, and the 6th Conference of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics, held in 1996.
She was the GCI's representative in the Getty Trust's Adopt-A-School Program when it began its partnership at a Los Angeles elementary school, and she continues to be a great believer in volunteering. For several years she has been a volunteer with the L.A. Opera League, helping with membership development and artist hospitality, and she will soon begin her second year as secretary of the Wellesley College Club of Los Angeles.