Obit by Anna Collins published in The Guardian:
Of Russian and European Jewish heritage, Joan developed a strong sense of her identity as European rather than American, and at 18 she left the US to study medieval history at Newcastle University. Thereafter she made her home in the UK, although she only renounced – or “denounced”, as she put it – her American citizenship towards the end of her life.
After two degrees in medieval history, Joan retrained in art and paper conservation, learning from experts in the field and becoming one herself. By the time formal qualifications for conservators had been introduced, Joan had been restoring for years and her high reputation was enough to secure her work.
Joan travelled widely in the course of numerous historic wallpaper conservation projects, including many for the National Trust. A highlight of her career was her involvement in a Royal Geographical Society project in Zanzibar, aimed at conserving British administrative archives, particularly correspondence from and about early explorers.