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Diane Knauf

MA Conservation of Fine Art

Where are you from?

Dallas, Texas USA

What undergraduate course did you study and where?

BA in Anthropology and Fine Art with a minor in Art History from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Why did you decide to study a masters?  

I have always had a passion for both art and science.  I found fine art conservation is the perfect combination of both. I can use my knowledge of chemistry and other sciences to to help preserve the art I enjoy.

Why did you choose Northumbria university?  Why did you choose your specific course?

I chose to attend Northumbria University based on the knowledge of paper conservation that my tutors have. The experience and support offered by the tutors makes the intense program an amazing learning experience.

How would you sum up the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate study?

During my undergraduate degree, the courses were challenging but not as demanding. Postgraduate study takes dedication and a passion for the subject, otherwise the long hours of study will not seem worth the end result.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?  What are the different ways that you learn on your course?  

The fine art conservation program at Northumbria is a very diverse course with people coming from all over the world with many different backgrounds. This allows for a wide variety of perspectives to be discussed during lectures and studios.

How connected is your course with industry?  Do you have the opportunity of placement, work on projects?

Through my course, I have been had the opportunity to undertake a placement at the National Galleries of Scotland and been able to attend multiple workshops and seminars presented by the Institute of Conservation (ICON). I have also been able to partake in the organization of the Gerry Hedley Symposium on art conservation that took place in Newcastle. Northumbrias's close ties with these institutions have allowed me to gain these experiences that I otherwise would not have been able to experience.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

The staff involved with the MA Conservation of Fine Art program have always had the best interest of the students in mind when making decisions. They are always willing to listen to feedback and answer any questions. The vest experience the staff has in art conservation also allows for a wide range of knowledge to be obtained during the studies.

How accessible do you find our staff?  Do you feel at ease?

The staff is always willing to help and meet with students if need be. They make the intense program feel both enjoyable, and worth the time and effort needed to pass the course.

As a postgraduate student, what aspects of university life are important to you? 

As a post graduate student, resource material is a very important part of the dissertation an portfolio process. The staff at the university has been very helpful in locating any article or book needed.

What doors do you think this course will open for you?  

My degree will give me the ability to enter the highly competitive field of art conservation with the knowledge needed to be a successful candidate for future job opportunities.

Have you changed as a person?

I have learned to manage my time in the most efficient ways to complete my work while meeting the high standards of the staff.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words before coming to Northumbria?  

Hands on skills in studio, time management, and research skills

How would you describe Northumbria in 3 words?

Intense, stressful, and satisfying

Do you feel that your course has been a worthwhile investment in your future?


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