November 20, 2018 (Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has hired two Samuel H. Kress Fellows. Becca Goodman joined the museum’s Conservation department in September as its first Samuel H. Kress Fellow in Painting Conservation. Theresa Christensen begins Jan. 22, 2019 as the Kress Fellow in European Paintings. Both positions are funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Goodman will treat a large late Medieval altarpiece that has not been on view for nearly a century due to its condition. She also plans to conduct a survey of the frames in the collection and will continue her study of the DIA’s masterpiece “The Wedding Dance” by Pieter Bruegel, which she began as a graduate intern at the DIA.

In addition, she joined and treated a small portrait on panel that was broken into two separate pieces before it entered the collection, and thoroughly researched and treated a painting by the obscure American painter, Hilaire Hiler. She recently presented her findings on this artist at a conference for the Western Association for Art Conservation.

Goodman received bachelor’s degrees in art history and studio art from the University of Maryland, College Park. She gained conservation experience at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland; the Baltimore Museum of Art; and the International Platform for Art Research and Conservation in Brussels, Belgium. She earned her master’s degree and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Art Conservation from SUNY Buffalo State College.

Theresa Christensen will conduct research on the DIA’s collection of European paintings prior to 1850, beginning with cataloging and researching Italian and French paintings. Her work has focused on the collecting and display of early modern art with special interest in the reuse of antiquity, women collectors and the use of allegory. She has won numerous grants, fellowships and awards, including a Fraad Horowitz Fellowship and Katzenberger Internship at the Smithsonian Institution.

Christensen has a Bachelor of Arts from University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington and a master’s degree and doctorate in Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art History from Pennsylvania State University. Her doctoral work on Queen Christina of Sweden’s antiquities collections was supported by fellowships and residencies including a Lois Roth Endowment Roth-Thompson Award and a Fulbright grant to Sweden with an affiliation at Lund University. Her essay on the reconceptualization of the lost Pharos at Alexandria and its relationship to early skyscraper design was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016, and she has a chapter titled “Allegory, Antiquity, and a Gothic Apollo,” in the forthcoming volume “Visualizing the Past in Italian Renaissance Art: Essays in Honor of Brian A. Curran Visualizing the Past in Italian Renaissance Art: Essays in Honor of Brian A. Curran.”

About the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

The foundation supports the work of individuals and institutions engaged with the appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of the history of European art and architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the modern era. It serves the field of art history as practiced in American art museums and institutions of higher education, and in an array of research centers and libraries throughout the world. It also supports training and research in art conservation as well as the professional practice of art conservation. It makes grants in defined program areas and offers professional development fellowships for art and architecture historians, art conservators and historic preservation professionals, art museum curators and educators and art librarians, and develops program initiatives in these areas.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.