New Head of School of Conservation
Shayne Rivers MA (RCA), a world renowned expert in the conservation of furniture and Asian lacquer, joins West Dean College as Head of Conservation, after 16 years at the Victoria & Albert Museum where she was Senior Conservator, responsible for collections care and conservation. This is a new strategic role for the College intended to ensure that West Dean continues to be at the forefront of conservation in the UK and internationally. Shayne will be key in developing the Collections Care and Management programme over the next year and in the longer term, implementing the school's research strategy.
Rivers began her furniture conservation training at the College in 1991 and completed an MA, specialising in furniture and decorative surfaces, at the Royal College of Art in 1998. Widely published, with an acknowledged reputation for high quality research, Rivers co-edited and contributed to Conservation of Furniture (2003), now considered the definitive text in the field. In 2011 she was a contributing co-editor for the book East Asian Lacquer: Material Culture, Science, Conservation, which incorporated groundbreaking articles by Rivers on the deterioration and conservation of Japanese lacquer. She has also authored more than 15 conservation-related peer-reviewed articles on subjects as wide ranging as casein plastic, cross-cultural ethics and painted surfaces. From 2005 - 2010 Rivers had an advisory role for five chemistry, mechanical engineering and conservation PhDs at Imperial College London, Loughborough University and the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts Conservation. A recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) case study that included one of these PhDs achieved a 3* rating 'with aspects of outstanding impact'.