Elizabeth Shaeffer

Elizabeth received a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2008. Her first encounter with conservation was at an archaeological field school in Northern Chile, where she treated mummies and other artifacts dating from 900-1450 CE. Inspired to combine her longstanding interests in textiles and science into a viable career, she carried out an internship at the Field Museum in Chicago.  She returned to Chile for three years, first as an intern and then as an assistant conservator in the Textile Department of the Museo Histórico Nacional. Elizabeth has been involved in such major treatment projects as the flag present at the swearing of Chilean Independence, a velvet sunshade associated with the Viceroy of Peru, and a collection of 19th– and 20th-century fans composed of ivory, tortoiseshell, feathers, and wood. She has also assisted in the treatment of two large tapestries, each under the guidance of a different private conservator. Concurrently, Elizabeth has maintained her interest in archaeological conservation, helping to establish a new collection of archaeological material at the behest of the indigenous community of Quillagua, as well as participating in excavations up and down the Chilean coast.


First-year summer work project: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Second-year summer work project: Museo Histórico Nacional, Chile

Third-year internship: Art Institute Chicago and Winterthur Museum

2014-2015 Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Textile Conservation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art


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