avatar for James Bernstein-[Fellow]

James Bernstein-[Fellow]

Private Practice
Conservator of Paintings and Mixed Media, nSan Francisco
San Francisco, CA
James Bernstein is a familiar figure in the world of art conservation. A graduate of the High School of Music & Art, NYC, he received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. He was awarded a Masters and Advanced Study Degree in Art Conservation from the Cooperstown Graduate Program (now the Buffalo Graduate Program) NY.

Bernstein was Conservator and Co-Director of Conservation for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [1975 to 1989]. Guiding the museum's in-house and regional conservation services, he performed collection assessments and treatments, also mentoring the education and work of staff conservators, interns and apprentices. In 1989, James commenced full-time private conservation practice and developed master classes for conservators. Long-term colleague at the SFMOMA, Conservator Pauline Mohr joined Bernstein part-time and continues to work with him presently. Mohr also maintains her own conservation practice in Berkeley, CA. Bernstein and associates provide museum-level conservation services and expertise to an distinguished roster of institutional, association and individual clients.

Jim bridges old and new worlds, demonstrating passion, sensitivity and prowess in the study and conservation of objects of far-ranging nature, ancient to cutting-edge modern. His encompassing vision, experience, invention, manual dexterity and personable manner have made him a highly sought-after practitioner.

In addition to his understanding of artist materials and his performing masterful treatments of complex or difficult works, especially of this Century, Bernstein loves sharing knowledge with others. He inspires enthusiasm and learning through presentations, publications and workshops that are encyclopedic, accessible and enjoyable.

For almost two decades, Jim has taught color and compensation technique to hundreds of conservators through eagerly attended MASTERING INPAINTING Workshops. The majority of workshops are given with colleague Debra Evans, Head of Paper Conservation for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. MASTERING INPAINTING has been presented over thirty times, tailored to the needs of each audience and hosted by associations around the globe.

In 2007, James Bernstein and Debra Evans were recognised by their peers, receiving the American Institute for Conservation Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award, in recognition of their sustained record of excellence in the education and training of conservation professionals.