Attingham Summer School Scholarship

Royal Oak has supported scholarships for the Attingham Summer School through the American Friends of Attingham for over thirty years and in 2010 awarded the Summer School the Foundation’s inaugural Heritage Award at our Timeless Design Gala.

The award recognized the program’s enduring contribution to the advancement of the understanding of the shared cultural heritage of the US and UK as the program entered its 60th year. The Summer School and the Attingham Trust as a whole takes its name from Attingham Park, the late Georgian country house in Shropshire where the program was founded and which has been a property of the National Trust since 1947.

For more information on Attingham study programs, visit the website of the American Friends of Attingham.

Attingham Summer School Scholarship

Current Scholars

Mrs. Myrtle-Jane “MJ” Hagan

Head of Collections Management and Registrar, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

As Head of Collections Management and Registrar for Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, D.C., MJ Hagan manages the historic mansion interior and the collection of approximately 20,000 objects. Highlights of the collection include French and Russian decorative arts, 20th century material culture, costumes and jewelry, and two imperial Faberge eggs. MJ has a master’s degree in museum studies from George Washington University with a focus on decorative and fine art collections management, and has been in the museum field for fourteen years.

Ms. Caroline O’Connell

Collections Assistant, Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Caroline O’Connell is based in New York and works in the Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design Department at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.  She is originally from Toledo, Ohio and holds a BA in Art History from Williams College and an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History & Material Culture from Bard Graduate Center.  Her work is focused on the 19th century and she is interested in the history of collecting, trans-Atlantic provenance and patronage, and intersections between English, French and American design.  Caroline hopes to consider specific ways in which trends in English furnishing and collecting have shaped American taste.  Particular focal points include domestic stained glass, silver, and collections of drawings and prints.

Miss Brittany Luberda

Research Assistant, Decorative Arts and Design, Saint Louis Art Museum

Brittany Luberda is the Decorative Arts and Design Research Assistant at Saint Louis Art Museum. She is currently researching and cataloging 700 European and American objects from 1400 to the present in preparation for a complete gallery reinstallation. Previously, Brittany served as department assistant for Decorative Arts and Object Conservation at the Frick Collection and held internships in European Paintings and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago and Dallas Museum of Art. Most recently, she has published in Journal18 and the Furniture History Society newsletter. Prior to Attingham, Brittany received a Paul Mellon Centre research grant to study the Duke of Newcastle archives at the University of Nottingham and the porcelain holdings at the Wallace Collection and Waddesdon Manor. Her principal interest is 18th-century European ceramics.

Ms. Kimberly “Kim” Robinson

Museum Curator, National Park Service

Kimberly Robinson is currently serving as Museum Curator at the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP), a National Park Service unit in the Washington Metropolitan Area that includes Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial and Clara Barton National Historic Site. She graduated from the George Washington University’s Museum Studies Graduate Program with a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Collections Management in 2006. Her research interests are focused on 19th Century Fine and Decorative Arts as well as architecture, in particular the art, architecture and design of the Victorian Era. Ms. Robinson has given numerous talks on historic homes and museum collections management.  She also serves of the executive board of the Historic House Museum Consortium of DC as the Vice President of Virginia and is involved with the Workforce Advisory Group for the National Capital Region of the NPS in addition to serving as a member of the NPS Registrar’s Committee.

Dr. Emily Williams

Senior Conservator, Archaeological Materials, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Dr. Emily Williams is the Senior Conservator for Archaeological Materials at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia.  She has an MA in the Conservation of Historic Objects from Durham University and a (very recent) PhD in Archaeology from the University of Leicester.  Williams has worked on sites and in museums around the world.  She teaches conservation courses at the University of Mary Washington and The College of William and Mary (both in Virginia).  Her research interests have focused on conservation outreach, the impact of portable fire extinguishers on cultural heritage materials, and most recently on how objects and places shape human experience and how our own construction of identity and memory shapes, and is shaped by, the preservation decisions we make. The ways in which individuals, families and communities inscribe themselves on both physical and cognitive landscapes as well as how contemporary memory, mass tourism and preservation decisions alter those inscriptions interests her deeply.

Past Scholars

Ms. Lydia Brandt

Royal Oak Foundation Scholar

Lydia Brandt is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina in the School of Visual Arts and Design. Dr. Brandt teaches undergraduate courses in American art, architectural history, material culture, and theories and methods for historic preservation, in addition to teaching graduate courses in public history. She holds her BA in Art History from New York University, her MA in Architectural History and her PhD in Art and Architectural History both from the University of Virginia. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Ms. Melissa Buchanan

Royal Oak Foundation Dowager Duchess of Devonshire Scholar

Melissa Buchanan is the RosaMary Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). Ms. Buchanan oversees the NOMA’s largest permanent collection division of more than 15,000 works. She holds her BA in American Studies from Yale University and her MA in Early American Culture from the University of Delaware. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Mr. Edgar Garcia

Royal Oak Foundation Scholar

Edgar Garcia is the Special Projects Manager for the Office of the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles. Mr. Garcia directs and oversees rehabilitation and restoration work, and the interior redesign project of the Getty House. He holds his BA in History from Yale University and his MA in Urban Planning from UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Ms. Susan Hitchcock

Royal Oak Foundation Scholar

Susan Hitchcock is a Historical Landscape Architect for the National Park Service. Ms. Hitchcock works with the Southeast Region of the National Park Service developing cultural landscape reports in addition to assisting with procedures and methods of historic preservation practice. She holds a BA degree in French from the University of South Carolina, a BS in Medical Technology from the Medical University of South Carolina, and an MHP in Landscape Preservation from the University of Georgia. She lives in Eatonton, Georgia.

Ms. Mi Chou (Mimi) Huang

Royal Oak Foundation Scholar

Mi Chou Huang is a Research Assistant for the Department of Asian Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Saint Louis, Missouri. Ms. Huang assists with numerous ongoing exhibitions and catalogues which include Chinese and Japanese artworks. She holds her BA in History from the National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan, her MA in Chinese Art History from the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, and a second MA in Modern Art History from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She lives in Saint Charles, Missouri.

Ms. Aimee Keithan

Royal Oak Foundation Jeremy Biggs Scholar

Aimee Keithan is the Research Fellow for the Preservation Society of Newport County in Newport, Rhode Island. Ms. Keithan has been working on a research project on domestic service architecture in Newport’s historic mansions. She holds her BA in Architecture from the University of Maine at Augusta and MA in Buildings Archaeology from the University of York in England. She lives in Newport, Rhode Island.

Mr. David (Ned) Lazaro

Royal Oak Foundation Charlotte Moss Scholar

David Lazaro is the Associate Curator of Textiles and Collections Manager of Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Mr. Lazaro collects and interprets Historic Deerfield’s fashion and textile collection in addition to managing the entire permanent collection. He holds a BS in Apparel Marketing and a MA in Fashion and Textile History both from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He lives in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Ms. Sheri Shaneyfelt

Royal Oak Foundation Scholar

Sheri Shaneyfelt is the Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Vanderbilt University in the Department of the History of Art. Dr. Shaneyfelt teaches several courses in European history, including Italian and Northern European art and architecture between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries in addition to a Western art and architecture survey course of art between 1400 and 1940. She holds her BS in Biology with a minor in Art History from Centre College, her MA in the History of Art from Vanderbilt University, and her PhD in the History of Art from Indiana University at Bloomington. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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