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Emily MacDonald-Korth

President and Chief Conservator-Scientist 

MacDonald-Korth at a microscope

Emily MacDonald-Korth is a professionally-trained art conservator, a specialist in the scientific analysis of art and architectural finishes, a conservation educator, and Founder of two companies that innovate at the intersection of art and science. An inventive problem-solver and creative data communicator with an energetic focus on the union of art, science, data, and preservation, she has over 20 years of experience as an art world professional. MacDonald-Korth created Longevity Art Preservation, a laboratory for conservation and forensic analysis of art; she also invented and co-patented Art Preservation Index®, a patented rating system for fine art, for which she was a finalist in two entrepreneurial competitions. Her company has been hired to carry out scientific analysis of paintings by masters such as Warhol, de Kooning, Dalí, and Picasso toward authentication; large-scale built heritage analysis projects on a building by Richard Neutra, Miami Marine Stadium, and for the City of Coral Gables; and conservation of artworks by Victor Vasarely, Frida Kahlo, Damien Hirst, and more. Recently, MacDonald-Korth made a major discovery of a previously unknown Jean-Michel Basquiat technique involving colorless UV-fluorescent drawing and inscriptions and is now a leader in a current University of Delaware-based Basquiat and Warhol technical research project. Longevity Art Preservation is currently contracted by the US Department of State for technical analysis of paintings by Charles Willson Peale and has carried out architectural paint investigation on the following NPS sites (as a subcontractor): Franklin Court at Independence National Historic Park (Philadelphia), Natchez National Historic Park (Mississippi), and San Juan National Historic Site (Puerto Rico). Other historic paint analysis projects of significance include Mission San Gabriel (California), Coconut Grove Playhouse (Miami), and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Barnsdall Residence A (Los Angeles). MacDonald-Korth recently authored “Investigations of Historic Finishes: Finding the Earliest Extant Color and More” for publication in the APT Bulletin and “Technical Imaging for Private Practice Conservators” for publication in the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. In her previous positions, including the Getty Conservation Institute (Los Angeles), MacDonald-Korth pioneered new technologies for the field while contributing to and leading high-profile projects such as conservation of wall paintings at the Forbidden City (Beijing, China), the archaeological site of Herculaneum (Italy), and David Alfaro Siqueiros’s monumental public mural, América Tropical (Los Angeles). MacDonald-Korth is the recipient of several prestigious awards, grants, and fellowships; she is widely published, a prolific public-speaker and educator, and has been featured in numerous media outlets such as the BBC, The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, The Art Newspaper, Vice, Miami Herald, Artnet News, and was a guest art science specialist on the BBC television program Fake or Fortune?. MacDonald-Korth is a regular lecturer for the graduate conservation program at University of Delaware and professional conservation organizations including the American Institute for Conservation and the Association for Preservation Technology. She received her MS from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, with a certificate in the Conservation of Paintings. She is currently the President and Chief Conservator-Scientist at Longevity Art Preservation in Miami, Florida.

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