Interview: Lesley Dill

Legacy Specialist Rose Nestler with CALL Artist Lesley Dill

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?

RN: We were able to accomplish a lot together!  The beginning of the process entailed me working with Lesley Dill’s galleries to compile their inventory details for her work so that I could enter information into her personal CALL database. We entered the information and uploaded the images for over 2,000 artworks.  I helped Lesley to rediscover and archive a huge body of silver-gelatin and palladium print photographs that were found in her studio.  On three different occasions we made trips to Lesley’s upstate storage facility to install shelving, small dehumidifiers, as well as, rewrap and document all of the stored artworks.  In the end I think our greatest goal was including and training Lesley’s studio assistants in the archiving process so that upon our departure none of our efforts would be lost.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?

RN: The CALL experience has influenced my work as an artist in many ways. I now understand the importance of having well-documented artwork and building a system to archive images in a cohesive manner.  Working with Lesley has also been a tremendously inspiring experience because she has been continually nurturing of my career as an artist and has offered substantial professional advice and support.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?

RN: The most rewarding moment was seeing Lesley take ownership over the legacy work and realize that it was something she and her studio assistants could carry on without the Legacy Specialists.

What has been most difficult?

RN: The most difficult aspect of this process is that it is never finite, it is something that evolves and that you can continue to edit and add to. Once you realize this and embrace the fact that you’re building a living legacy is when things become a little less daunting!

What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist’s in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?

RN: I think the most helpful advice I can give is to refrain from pushing your own agenda or expectations on the artist.  Ultimately this is their journey and the best thing you can do as a legacy specialist is listen to what they’re asking for; what they need out of this process.

(For more, see Leslie Dill’s profile on 

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