"I want to help preserve our artistic and historic past, and I want to have fun doing it."
President Susan Mathisen's passion is our historic and artistic past, and that passion translates into the fun she has helping our clients preserve it. Her expertise bridges a variety of fields, including art conservation, fundraising, historic preservation, and non-profit management. She has worked as a conservator in both the United States and Europe and as a manager and fundraiser for museums, universities, and other historical agencies. This unique combination of skills makes her the ideal consultant when organizations need assistance finding the resources to realize their historic preservation and collections care goals, build capacity, or plan for the future. More on Susan below.
Susan gained her knowledge of art conservation and museum practice through positions held at the Morgan Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (now H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture) and as administrative conservator/development officer and adjunct professor of conservation at the Conservation Center, IFA, New York University. She has held development positions at the National Academy Museum, the American Academy in Rome, the Friends of the American Museum in Britain/Halcyon Foundation, and Meet The Composer. She is currently the interim, part-time Executive Director of the Douglaston and Little Neck Historical Society. She has a Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Textile Conservation from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Certificate in Fund Raising from New York University.
Publications and Teaching
Susan has published and presented extensively on topics ranging from textile conservation, collaboration, and fundraising for conservation. She continues to offer workshops on grantwriting, prospect research, individual giving, and board responsibilities. She is currently working on a series that explore the changing role of the conservator.
SAM FS publishes bi-monthly newsletters on topics related to fundraising, non-profit management and personal career growth. Consult the Resources page for back issues. If you are interested in receiving new issues, please send us a note via the contact page.
An advocate for conservation and involved member of the community, Susan has served on a variety of boards and committees, including those of the American Institute for Conservation, the North American Textile Conservation Conference, ICOM-CC Education and Training Committee, and American Virtuosi, a baroque opera ensemble. She is the former Chair of the AIC Textile Specialty Group, pro-bono Development Consultant for Inwood ArtWorks, Coordinator of the US-Europe Organizations Group, a Daughter of the British Empire, and Vice President of the Historic Districts Council, the advocate for all New York City's historic neighborhoods. Recently she joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Textile Conservation Lab Visiting Committee.