Posted April 24, 2024

Tyler senior is ready for a career in art conservation

When Sera Park came to Temple, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in art history. But she discovered her true passion for art conservation while studying at Temple’s Rome campus.

Image of Sera Park holding a sign reading #TempleMade for art conservation.
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg
During her time at Temple, Sera Park studied abroad in Rome, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Name: Sera Park
Degree: BA, art history; BA, economics
College: Tyler School of Art and Architecture, College of Liberal Arts
Hometown: Albertson, NY 

Sera Park came to Temple hoping to find her calling amid the bustling North Philly campus. However, it was on Temple’s Rome campus where she discovered her passion for art conservation. 

The daughter of a professional artist, Park was influenced and supported from a young age to pursue a career in art history. Initially wary of art history concentrations that are heavy on science, such as art conservation, Park’s perspective shifted during her time in the Temple Rome Entry Year Program, a program that allows students to complete their first year in Rome before returning to Main Campus to finish their degree. 

“I came out of high school thinking I was done with science. But then I went to Rome, and I got paired up with an art conservator through a Temple Rome internship program,” she said. During that internship, Park got valuable hands-on experience working with and restoring ancient Roman and Greek statues. The experience helped Park realize she enjoyed art conservation work and the science that comes with it. 

“When I returned to Main Campus, I started taking chemistry classes, and I realized I enjoyed them a lot more than I thought I would,” said Park, who is also graduating with a minor in chemistry this spring. 

Rome wasn’t Park’s only study abroad experience during her time at Temple. She also studied at Temple’s Japan campus and participated in programs in Mexico and the United Kingdom. You can read more about her experiences studying abroad in Park's blog.

“I’ve grown to really value traveling,” said Park, who was born in South Korea and moved to the United States at a young age. “Traveling was the norm for me, because we would go back to South Korea to visit my family. But it wasn’t until studying abroad that I began to value different cultures and understand the importance of diverse perspectives.” 

After graduation, Park is heading to an internship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where she’ll be working in the Asian Art and Paper Conservation Department. She then hopes to obtain her master’s degree and work full time as a conservator in a museum. 

As she reflects on her time at Temple, the New York native credits her experience in Rome for guiding her career path. 

“I don’t think I’d have chosen this field if I hadn’t studied abroad,” said Park, who originally wanted to work in an art auction house. “A professor asked me why I wanted to work in an auction house, and I couldn’t answer him because I wasn’t that passionate about the field. Now, my professors and friends know how passionate I am about art conservation. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been exposed to the field in Rome.”