Meet our 2023-24 Souls Grown Deep Conservation Fellow. As part of our institutional values and commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, the Souls Grown Deep Fellow will work within our Conservation department assisting Phillips Collection conservators and collections managers in caring for works of art. Hannah Longbottom Estrada is studying Fine Arts and Emergency Health Services at George Washington University.
Why are you interested in working at a museum?
I worked for the Smithsonian American Art Museum for three years before entering healthcare. The pandemic brought me into healthcare, where for a while I planned to connect my art and medicine by doing biomedical illustration in graduate school. However, I quickly realized I missed the museum side of art and preferred creating art in my own time. This brought me where I am today, back in the museum setting. Conservation feels like medicine of the museum world, so in a way treating pieces reminds me of caring for patients and I’m thrilled to be caring for this museum’s collection.
What brought you to The Phillips Collection?
My interest in working with The Phillips Collection particularly stemmed from my previous visits during Third Thursdays, as I enjoyed myself and the environment at each event.
Please tell us about the projects that you will be working on during your fellowship. What do you hope to accomplish during your fellowship?
During my time as the Souls Grown Deep Conservation Fellow, I’ll be assisting Phillips Collection conservators and collections managers in caring for works of art and researching particular time-based media acquisitions. Currently, I am working with the Guerrilla Girls’ portfolio and preparing an artist interview to better understand their installation preferences. Additionally, I’ve helped with reframing works in the collection and have assisted in sculpture upkeep. As a fellow, I hope to strengthen my knowledge of the conservation field and get a better idea of my graduate program preferences.
What is your favorite painting/artist here?
My favorite artist in the collection is tied between the Guerrilla Girls and Philip Guston. My favorite exhibition was Guston’s at the National Gallery, and I was thrilled to examine our collection’s piece up close.
If you were to describe the Phillips in one word, what would that word be?
I’d describe The Phillips Collection as unexpected.
What is a fun fact about you?
In addition to my interest in studying artists’ works, I am a painter and printmaker myself. My primary job is in international emergency medicine, so I enjoy creating art about biopsychosocial aspects of health and illness and health equity. Subsequently, my undergraduate thesis was about queer erasure following Spanish colonization of present-day Guatemala, and I hope to exhibit some of it in our upcoming staff show!