Kathryn Gardner is the inaugural winner of the Murtagh|Graham Prize for her thesis entitled A Bitter Truth: Astringent Persimmon as a Bio-Alternative to Standard Wood Preservation Treatments.
Named to honor William R. Murtagh, Ph.D., and Roy Eugene Graham for their many contributions to preservation education and cultural heritage stewardship, the prize was establish by US|ICOMOS (United States International Committee on Monuments and Sites) with generous support from NCPTT (National Center for Preservation Technology and Training) of the National Park Service to recognize outstanding student scholarship in the area of historic preservation technologies.
In recognizing her scholarship, one member of the prize committee lauded the work, recognizing that, “this thesis enriches the discipline and practice in two ways. The first is in terms of providing a sustainable, bio-alternative to the use of very toxic and not always effective products in current use. The second is the author’s exploration of traditional methods and products in an almost anthropological way. In so doing, she opens up new avenues of research into products.”
Ms. Gardner, a recent graduate of Columbia University, will be awarded $2500 and will be recognized at the 2016 US|ICOMOS Gala to be held at the Cosmos Club in Washington D.C. on December 7.
The runner-up in the competition is Cesar Bargues of the University of Pennsylvania. He will receive an award of $500. Other finalists included Fanglan Chen of the University of Georgia, Sabrinna Cox of the Savannah College of Art and Design and Amanda Phelps of the University of Texas, San Antonio.
The Murtagh|Graham Prize Committee included Erica Avrami, Wayde Brown, Justin Gunther, Morris Hylton III, and Donald W. Linebaugh.
Details for the 2017 Murtagh|Graham prize, open to member institutions of US|ICOMOS, will be announced in December.