Elena Bowen

Class of 2020


Elena Bowen graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in studio art in 2013. Looking for a field that combined hands-on work, chemistry, and problem solving, she discovered conservation and was immediately intrigued. As an undergraduate, Elena had the opportunity to visit conservation laboratories around Boston and connect with conservators through the Wellesley Network and an art history seminar focused on conservation. After graduation Elena moved to Miami to teach high school chemistry through Teach for America. She also began attending a monthly conservation discussion group organized by a local conservator. During her first two summers in Miami, Elena gained museum and conservation experience through internships at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Caryatid Conservation Services, Inc. Her project through the learning division at Vizcaya focused on gathering data for a family needs assessment, while her time with the museum conservators was spent on preventive conservation work at the off-site storage facility of the museum. At Caryatid Conservation Services, she gained experience
documenting and treating both modern and ethnographic art under the guidance and mentorship of Stephanie Hornbeck. The following fall, Elena accompanied Hornbeck to the Cultural Conservation Center at Quisqueya University in Port-au- Prince, Haiti, where she learned more about disaster recovery, conservation practices outside of the United States, and Haitian culture. Following three years of teaching high school science, Elena moved back home to Philadelphia to serve as an intern at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, working mainly on objects for the Egyptian move project and new Middle East galleries. She is interested in working with communities through conservation and promoting teaching and diversity within the conservation field.


UCLA Graduate Opportunity Fellow