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Peggy Van Witt, Founder and Chief Conservator

Peggy Van Witt is a peer-approved fine art conservator and Professional Associate with the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). A third-generation conservator, she practices at her state-of-the-art conservation studio located in the greater Kansas City area. 

Van Witt brings exceptional training, knowledge and expertise to every project. Museum standards and methodologies, which adhere to the American Institute for Conservation’s (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice, are the hallmark of her studio practice—and her commitment to her clients.

Van Witt has worked as a conservator in Germany, England, Switzerland and Belgium. Prior to moving to Kansas City in 2003, Van Witt was a conservator in private practice in Westport, Connecticut. Initially under the tutelage of renowned conservator, Arnold Wagner, co-founder of Conservators in Private Practice (CIPP), Van Witt collaborated on projects with Mr. Wagner until his retirement in 2009. In addition to her CIPP membership, she is also a member of The New England Conservation Association and the Midwest Regional Conservation Guild.

In the 1970s and '80s, Peggy received two Bachelors degrees and a Masters degree from the University of Southern California, the Art Center College of Design and the University of Maryland's European Division. 

 

Through the years, she has consistently attended industry-related workshops and symposiums to study cutting-edge processes, methodologies and technology to bring to her thriving practice.

A sought-after lecturer on art conservation and the care and treatment of paintings, Van Witt's lectures include hands-on demonstrations and conservation assessments.

Our Team

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Melissa Chaney
Conservation Technician

Melissa joined the studio as a conservation technician and works on structural restoration, painting conservation, framing and administration.

Melissa holds a degree in Art Education from the University of Central Missouri, a Masters degree in Art Curriculum from the University of Central Missouri as well as a Specialist Degree in Painting and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute.

 

Before joining the Van Witt team she taught Painting and Art History for 30 years and is passionate about educating others within the realms of art.  As an artist and art teacher she is proficient in art presentation and problem solving. Each piece which comes into the studio holds a unique learning opportunity for preservation of its history. In her free time she paints golf courses.

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Adam Paxson
Conservation Tec
hnician

Adam joined the studio as a conservation technician and focuses on works of art on paper; bound materials; and documents, maps, and other paper-based ephemera. 

 

He holds graduate degrees in music and library science, with additional studies in visual art, chemistry, bookbinding, and paper conservation. He has been a certified archivist since 2020.

 

In addition to being a member of the Van Witt team, Adam continues to work in libraries and archives in the Kansas City area. No stranger to handling fragile collections, his interest in conservation was a natural career progression. Outside of work, he enjoys painting, hiking, and maintains an active schedule as a freelance musician.

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Lorel Hoffmann
Conservation Technician

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Ben Baker
Account Manager

Ben is the Account Manager in our studio. He is responsible for improving daily operations, maintaining and developing the website, managing our social media accounts, and assisting clients with their works.

Ben is also a composer and musician who performs frequently all over Kansas City and beyond. He holds a Bachelor of Music Composition degree from Ohio University, and most recently has received his Master's in Music Composition from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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