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Celebration of Mary Kempski's Retirement

last modified Apr 24, 2018 11:29 AM
Alumni of the HKI, along with painting conservation practitioners gathered at the Hamilton Kerr Institute on Friday 20th April to celebrate Mary Kempski’s retirement.

Mary arrived at the HKI in the 1970s as one of its first students. After graduating from the Diploma course, she worked in the Institute’s Ebury Street Studio, London before returning to Mill House as a part-time conservator. She has been working here full-time since her children fled the nest and was made one of the Assistants to the Director in 2010. Mary’s extensive experience and skills have made her the mainstay of the studios, and she was also the teacher of the technical reconstruction module of the Diploma course.  Many HKI graduates and ex-interns owe her a great deal, and she will be sorely missed by us all. 

Perfect weather, daffodils and cherry blossom made a perfect backdrop for tea in the gardens, accompanied by a truly magnificent cake made by HKI interns Emma Jansson and Jae Youn Chung and disguised as a detail of a 16th century German painting Mary worked on several years ago. The group adjourned to the library for a series of bite-sized lecture presentations in Mary’s honour before re-emerging into the sunshine for canapés and sparkling wine to toast Mary as she proceeds to an active retirement. We hope she will use her parting gift of an easel to produce some paintings of her own now her days are free from restoring others’ artworks.

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