Caryatid Conservation Services, LLC, is a Washington DC-area, woman-owned private art conservation practice founded by Stephanie Hornbeck. This practice specializes in the care of sculpture, three-dimensional art objects, artifacts, and a range of textile types. Caryatid Conservation offers museum-quality conservation care to museums and private clients through consulting and treatment services. From 2010-2017, this practice was based in Miami, FL, where we specialized in the conservation of museum quality objects. Stephanie also founded the Miami-based practice. More information about the Miami practice can be found on the “Projects” page.
Stephanie is a formally trained conservator with extensive professional museum conservation experience in both objects and textiles conservation. She is a Professional Member of the American Institute for Conservation. Stephanie earned masters degrees in fine art conservation (objects specialty) and art history from the Conservation Center and Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. She is a recognized ivory specialist; more information is available on the “Services” page. Her research areas include the study of African art, the identification and cultural use of ivory; intersections of conservation practice for ethnographic and contemporary art; and post-disaster cultural recovery. Select publications can be found on the “Publications” page.
For over 20 years Stephanie has worked with the Smithsonian Institution. Periodically over 10 years she has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, in 2023-2024 contributing to an initiative to support heritage professionals in Ukraine. From 2010 – 2012, Stephanie served as Chief Conservator, Haiti Cultural Recovery Project, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As a consultant from 2013-2016, she aided in the transition to a permanent conservation center at Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince. To read more about this work, see the “Projects” page. From 1998 – 2010, Stephanie served as Conservator, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African Art, in Washington, DC. She performed a full range of museum conservation duties.
For nearly five years (until late 2021) Stephanie served as McCarter Chief Conservator at the Field Museum in Chicago, where she directed preservation activities primarily for the Anthropology collections. A primary focus of her work involved team-building to serve four main initiatives. The conservation internship program provided training opportunities at the graduate and pre-program level. As Principal Investigator, Stephanie was awarded grants in excess of $1.1 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, U.S. Department of State and IMLS Museums for America.
Detailed information about Stephanie’s professional experience can be found on her LinkedIn page.
The name “Caryatid Conservation Services” is inspired by the caryatid, a figural sculpture, typically in the form of a female figure. Although found in many world cultures, the Classical Greek form in marble is its most well-known. Architectural caryatids can bear great loads to support large structures, as figures are multiplied. Having always appreciated the form, Stephanie found it symbolically evocative of a team of women collaborating to support a large project.
Caryatid Conservation Services appreciates the contributions of Karel Ambroz, Website Developer.
Caryatid Conservation abides by the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice of the American Institute for Conservation