Proposals & Estimates
The process starts with a physical examination of the art or artifact. Some simple tests might be performed (e.g. examination with ultraviolet light or solvent spot tests). Treatment proposals made upon examination of an object in either our Westchester or Putnam studios are scheduled by appointment and are free of charge. During this meeting the condition of the piece will be discussed as well as desired goals for treatment and realistic outcomes.
Estimates that require travel or an on-site visit may require a fee that is applied towards the conservation treatment. Ballpark estimates based on a description and e-mailed photographs may be possible, but will be revised upon physical examination. After examination of the object you will receive a written treatment proposal outlining the general course of treatment as well as a cost estimate. The cost of a conservation treatment is based on the number of hours of required work multiplied by our hourly rate. There is a four hour minimum for all treatments. Estimates are non-negotiable except where several treatment options are given. Treatment costs are generally given as a “Not To Exceed” figure meaning that the final bill will not be higher than the estimated cost (plus NY sales tax if applicable). However, there is a provision for a 15% adjustment of the treatment cost should extenuating circumstances develop during treatment. This will be discussed with the owner should it be necessary.
Treatments & Documentation
All treatments involve material and methods currently accepted in the field and at the major museums where we have worked and trained as well as following the American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics. We strive to make our treatments minimally interventive and reversible. Treatment plans will not be modified without express approval from the client. Treatment time will depend on the type of object and extensiveness of the proposed treatment plan. If we cannot begin treatment straight away we may ask that you hold off on delivery of your object until we are ready to proceed.
Documentation of the object and its treatment is a mandatory part of our procedures as dictated by the AIC code of ethics. The Treatment Report will include a written description of the condition before treatment, treatment steps, materials and equipment used, and recommendations for appropriate future care, as well as digital photography. Owners will be supplied with a treatment report upon return of their object or no later than 30 days after the completion of treatment. Documentation will be supplied in hard copy or digital format depending on the length of the report and the request of the owner.
Client Responsibilities - The client agrees to provide the Conservator with truthful information about the art object, its provenance, and its prior restorations; to abide by any signed conservation proposals; to pay the Conservator’s bills on time; and to keep the Conservator informed of the Client’s current address and telephone number.
Payment - Payment can be made by cash, check, or money order. Half of the balance will be due upon approval of the estimate and half upon receipt of the treated item.
Insurance - Owners must represent that they are the legal owner of any objects and that items are insured for their full value, and that such insurance coverage includes all risks and any casualty which may occur during the transportation or treatment.
Worksite - With the exception of large objects, installations, etc. conservation treatment is done in our home studios. Objects will remain onsite until their return. In the event of any hazard or danger arising from an act of God or as a result of prevailing conditions, A.M. Art Conservation staff shall be free to determine the course to be followed with respect to removal, storage or protection of the object.
Confidentiality - The relationship between the client and the Conservator shall be considered confidential. Information obtained from the examination, testing and treatment of the Art Object shall not be published or otherwise made public except if agreed upon by both parties.
Unclaimed Artwork - If the client fails to claim objects within 30 days after notification of the completion of treatment, A.M. Conservation may deliver the art object to a commercial storage facility to be stored at the client’s expense. If the client fails to claim the object within one year after notification, we shall have the right on thirty (30) days written notice to the client to sell the object at public auction or through other means and apply the proceeds to any unpaid fees, charges, and storage costs.
Payment – Payment can be made by check. Generally 1/2 of the cost is due upon acceptance of the proposal and signing the contract and the balance due upon completion of treatment and receipt of final documentation reports. For extended contracts, other arrangements can be made.
Insurance – A.M. Art Conservation carries insurance coverage appropriate for on-site work.
Confidentiality – Unless explicitly noted, institutional clients consent to having their organization name listed on this site as clients of A.M. Art Conservation. All other information is considered confidential.