Bradford Epley joins Museum Resources Division from world-renowned Texas museum

August 23, 2022

Stephen Hamway

Santa Fe, NM – The Museum Resources Division (MRD) of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) is thrilled to announce that Bradford Epley has joined the Division as Head of Conservation. Epley began working for MRD in July. 

“I am elated that Bradford Epley has joined our team as Head of Conservation. We are fortunate to have such a respected museum professional on board to apply his many years of experience and expertise to the collections and exhibition efforts of this museum system,” said MRD Executive Director David Rohr. “I am particularly pleased that Brad brings his considerable skillset as a paintings conservator, a specialty that will certainly be of benefit to the many works contained in the museum collections.” 

In his new role, Epley supervises the in-house conservation staff and provides operational oversight of the two NMDCA conservation laboratories in Santa Fe. The Head of Conservation also provides agency-wide consultation on all matters relating to conservation, particularly practices designed to ensure the long-term care of objects in the museum collections. 

Epley brings more than two decades of experience at the prestigious Menil Collection in Houston. Epley joined the Menil Collection in 1999 as assistant paintings conservator and was appointed Chief Conservator in 2006, overseeing the museum’s conservation activities.  

Epley also co-directed the Artists Documentation Program, an interview program of recorded conversations between conservators and contemporary artists to record the artist’s wishes for both the material and conceptual needs of a given work and create a living will for its preservation.  

Epley received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and his Masters/Certificate of Advanced Study in Art Conservation at the State University of New York College at Buffalo.  

Prior to joining the Menil he held a two-year post-graduate fellowship in paintings conservation and conservation science at the Hamilton Kerr Institute at the University of Cambridge. He has published and lectured on a broad range of conservation issues and artists, including reversing wax-resin lining treatments of abstract expressionist paintings, the materials and techniques of René Magritte. He has also co-curated two exhibitions: Barnett Newman: The Late Works and Walter De Maria: Boxes for Meaningless Work, which opens at the Menil Collection in Houston at the end of October. 

Epley has been coming to the Santa Fe area for decades to visit its museums and surrounding sites. 

“The cultures and artists represented in the museums, along with the quality of the work and range of media, present a truly unique professional opportunity,” Epley said. “I am excited about working with the talented team of conservators and colleagues across the museums to study and treat these objects and help ensure for their care and preservation.” 

In his spare time, Epley enjoys restoring older cars, painting and getting out into nature with his dog, Oscar. 

Related Photos

Bradford Epley headshot

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