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Nylah Byrd: Former CIBA Intern Headed for Winterthur

Posted on Jun 24, 2019 by in The OFI Blog |

Nylah Byrd hard at work in her CIBA Pre-Program Internship

Nylah Byrd, one of the Smithsonian’s CIBA Pre-Program Interns is headed for graduate school in art conservation at Winterthur/University of Delaware this coming Fall 2019.

Nylah credits the Smithsonian’s Mellon CIBA Program with giving her the solid conservation experience she needed to create her graduate school application portfolio. “Without the internship I would not have been adequately prepared to be a competitive applicant,” she notes.

Born and raised in Chicago, Nylah discovered archeology in elementary school and pursued the field of study through high school and college, picking up interests in chemistry and art along the way. In her junior year at Stanford she was introduced to the field of art conservation while visiting The Presidio of San Francisco as part of an archaeology course field trip. The following summer she interned at the National Museum of African Art where she worked with African ethnographic objects such as Adinkra stamps, Kissi pennies and Akan gold weights. She graduated with Honors from Stanford University with a B.A. in Archaeology and minors in Studio Art and Chemistry. After graduating, she began a six-month long internship at the National Museum of American History in the paper conservation lab. While she worked mainly in paper conservation, she was given projects in the textile and object conservation as well. Her projects included mending century old papers used in the textile manufacturing process, constructing a head mount for a bonnet, cleaning a Yankee ticket booth, and rehousing a collection of 120 pocket watch papers. She also has archaeological fieldwork experience and developed strong administrative skills in her various short-term jobs during and after undergraduate. In her free time, she enjoys painting her nails, performing hip-hop and k-pop dance, and is a tiny bird enthusiast (hummingbirds are her favorite).

Congratulations, Nylah! We wish you all the best at Winterthur and continued success in the field.