Texas is bursting with history. Ever wonder how the authenticity and legacy of those landmarks are maintained and upheld for everyone to enjoy? It’s thanks to individuals like Pamela Jary Rosser, Alamo conservator. A ninth generation Texan, Rosser was born in San Antonio and has a degree in fine arts and art history. She studied conservation in Italy with a team that worked on the Sistine Chapel, as well as Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose. Rosser was kind enough to share her passion for history with us.
TXM+E: How long have you worked at the Alamo?
PJR: I began working at the Alamo as an independent contractor in 2000 doing conservation projects as the Daughters of the Republic of Texas had funds. This went on for nine years. In 2010 and until present, I have been the Alamo conservator.
TXM+E: What drew you to American history?
PJR: Growing up in my family, we all learned art and architecture through the history of Texas. Every historic building, house, ranch has its history which is something my parents taught us. I am drawn to history because it offers an array of information about how people and societies behaved. History educates by example.
TXM+E: Can you describe what you do for the landmark?
PJR: I conserve the walls with various con- servation treatments, document mid-1700s Spanish colonial plaster with tinted lime washes and historic graffiti. I collect and analyze mortar, pigment fragments and plaster samples under a stereo microscope. I work alongside the collection manager regarding the Alamo artifacts collections, as well as the cannon conservation project. We currently have six statues on loan from the Sculpture Trail LLC, which will require annual conser- vation assessments and cleaning.
TXM+E: What is your favorite part of your job?
PJR: That is a hard question to answer. I would say the favorite part of my job is shaving away (layer by layer under magnification) U.S. Army whitewash and exposing Spanish colonial tinted lime wash design elements, pigment fragments and copper leaf.