We are professional conservators responsible for the long- term preservation of artistic and cultural heritage. We analyze and assess the condition of cultural property, understanding processes and evidence of deterioration, planning collections care that prevent damages. We work to physically save works of art by carrying out conservation treatments, and conducting research. Conservation is an interdisciplinary field involving sciences, and the humanities. Because of the increasingly technical nature of modern conservation, we always strive to keep up to date with the latest conservation materials methods.
The Conservation Process
Scientific Analysis – To conduct analytical testing of a work of art to determine its manufacturing technique, composition of materials, age and identify previous restoration interventions. Specific analysis are only done when necessary to aid in the conservation of an artifact.
Examination – To conduct an in-depth study of the materials making up an artifact to assess its’ current condition, and to determine the steps needed for its’ conservation.
Documentation – To record the condition, proposed treatment and treatment of an artifact in writing and to photographically document the treatment process; before, during and after.
Treatment – To directly undertake the process of stabilizing, cleaning and preserving the condition of a work of art so as to prolong its’ existence
Because of the increasingly technical nature of modern conservation, we always strive to keep up to date with the latest conservation materials methods.
Difference between Conservation and Restoration
The reason that our field is known as Conservation is that, as professionals, we primarily strive to stabilize and preserve the artwork entrusted to our care. We approach conservation using scientific analysis, historical research, and visual examination to devise a specific treatment plan that helps to retain and protect as much of the original integrity and fabric of an artifact as possible. This takes into account the stability and reversibility of materials we use to carry out our proposed work.
Restoration historically refers to an attempt to bring cultural artifacts back to their original appearance by repairing or replacing elements. Although most people think of what we do as restoration, it really is not the main focus of our work. It is not to say that some restoration of missing or damaged pieces will not be required. It is our goal however, to try to save as much of the original materials, finishes and coatings as possible.