Bill Santel, Chief Conservator, has been with Lowy for more than 30 years, having worked with such notable conservators such as Gustav Berger, Margaret Watherston and Marco Grassi early in his career. He oversees Lowy’s conservation department, while continuing to apply his own considerable conservation skills, including cleaning, inpainting and lining, to the many masterpieces that pass through Lowy’s doors. His extensive experience and knowledge of conservation ensure the continued quality and efficiency that the art community has come to expect from Lowy. His responsibilities also include staffing the department with the finest talent available and keeping abreast of ongoing scientific advancements, which have contributed to Lowy’s reputation as a leader in the field.
Bill graduated from City College in New York in 1972 with a bachelor’s in art history, having also taken additional courses in studio art at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. He worked for two New York conservation firms, one headed by Berger the other by Watherston, before joining Lowy. Bill, a dedicated painter himself, especially enjoys contributing to the transformation a painting undergoes when it is properly and beautifully conserved.
Before joining the Lowy team, Lauren has aided in the conservation of landmarks across the country such as the Boston Opera House, erected in 1925, and the John Adams Courthouse, erected in 1893 as well as interning in the conservation department at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. While obtaining her conservation degree in Florence Italy, she worked on a multitude of projects including a rare opportunity to travel to Serbia and assist the Center of Preventative Conservation, a division of the National Museum of Belgrade, in their aim to preserve their cultural heritage.
Lauren graduated from New York University in 2001 with a duel major in Fine Arts and Renaissance Literature. In addition to obtaining her master’s degree in conservation, she studied the physical sciences at Harvard University. During her undergraduate years she worked for the distinguished Fischbach Gallery in Manhattan where she attained hands on experience with collection maintenance. At the early age of seven, she began classical training in the execution of oil painting which has helped to shape her love and consideration for the preservation of fine art.
Jose Raphael Cespedes
Master of Structural Conservation
Jose Raphael Cespedes has been a member of the Lowy team for 29 years. Raffi, as he is better known amongst his peers, came from Santiago, Dominican Republic to New York at the age of 27. Since his arrival in this country, he has worked exclusively in painting conservation, eventually mastering the art of structural conservation. Studying under the tutelage of Joe Battaglia as well as other conservation greats, Raffi has an innate ability to understand a painting’s needs. Today he is head of the structural division here at Lowy bringing his skill and intuition to every piece of fine art he handles.