What is Conservation?
Conservation is the active preservation of cultural property. Conservators specialize in the examination, documentation, scientific analysis, stabilization, restoration and preventive care of works of art.
Examination & Documentation
As mandated by the American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics, all conservation work is fully documented before, during and after treatment. For more on our procedures click here.
Analysis of artwork is undertaken to acquire evidence on material and construction techniques, provenance and dating. A.M. Art Conservation is not equipped to perform complex scientific analysis. We are able to recommend appropriate tests, arrange for analytical services, safely collect samples and help interpret results.
A.M. Art Conservation uses conservation grade materials and professionally accepted practices for stabilization, aiming to make all treatments as minimally interventive and reversible as possible. For a list of some of the materials and types of cultural property we treat please click here
A.M. Art Conservation aims to restore objects to a high standard of visual integrity. This standard may be different for different types of art or artifacts. It is sometimes impossible to completely hide the fact that an object has been previously damaged. We will discuss the expected outcome so that you have a realistic idea of what to expect from restoration treatment.
A.M. Art Conservation has strong expertise in preventive care. We will provide information on the best strategies for storing and/or exhibiting your works of art to minimize potential damage and deterioration. For more on our preventive care services click here.
What is my object/artifact worth?
Conservators do not provide monetary appraisals or evaluations. For our purposes it does not matter if the object is a priceless piece or one of sentimental value as we strive to provide the best treatments no matter the object’s actual worth. However, it should be recognized that some objects may have great sentimental value yet little intrinsic value. In such cases, judgment regarding the suitability of conservation cost must be made by the owner.
How will conservation treatment affect the value of my artwork?
Anyone who has watched Antiques Roadshow now knows that objects in pristine condition are always more valuable than those that have deteriorated or become damaged. However, good conservation treatment (stabilization and restoration) using appropriate materials and techniques will help maintain an object’s value.
How will my object/artifact look after treatment?
The answer to this question depends on the type and origin of the object as well as on the current condition. In the museum world different types of objects receive different cosmetic levels of restoration treatment. Ethnographic and archaeological artifacts are sometimes restored in a manner which allows scholars examining a piece to distinguish original construction from restoration while a casual observer might not notice. For porcelain or decorative arts the commonly accepted practice is to make repairs as invisible as possible. The AlC Code of Ethics dictates that original material should not be covered or removed during treatment. As a result, it is sometimes impossible to make all damage invisible. The goal of restoration treatment is to ensure that the object has a satisfactory integrated appearance overall.