Mary Schobert, Director of Conservation, received her MFA in painting in 1981 from Southern Illinois University. She started at CCAHA as a technician in 1982, and completed an apprenticeship there in 1987. In 1990 and 1991, Mary received a Kress Fellowship to study the conservation of photographic materials with Debbie Hess Norris of the University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum.
While at CCAHA, Mary has been responsible for major treatment projects including the Dutch Colonial Manuscripts of the New York State Archives, William Rau’s oversize albumen prints comprising Pennsylvania Railroad Scenery, a complete set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and the Pennsylvania State Archives’ Civil War Muster Rolls. Treatment projects for the Pennsylvania academy of Fine Arts include Thomas Eakins photographs for Thomas Eakins: American Realist, and works by Benjamin West, William Trost Richards, Arthur Dove, and many others for American Watercolors. She has worked with the National Park Service, Southeast Region to manage cellulose nitrate negatives in their collections by training staff, surveying collections, and producing a manual for parks.
She has surveyed numerous collections, including the Archives at the National Independence Historic Park, the United States Naval Academy, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Free Library of Philadelphia. Mary has supervised training of interns and fellows at CCAHA since 1997 and is a professional associate member of the American Institute for Conservation, Book and Paper Group and Photographic Materials Group.