The maintenance and long-term preservation of the collection are vital to the Art Institute of Chicago’s purpose. The museum maintains an active conservation program to care for its permanent collection with a staff of 20 conservators and scientists that includes specialists in the care of prints and drawings, paintings, three-dimensional objects, textiles, books, and photographs.
The Department of Conservation was established in 1956 with the appointment of Paintings Conservator Louis Pomerantz to the staff. Facilities for textile paper and photographic conservation were added in later years. The conservation department is also equipped for radiography of paintings and three-dimensional objects and for infrared imaging.
In recent years science has played an increasing role in art conservation, both for devising better conservation treatments and to gain a deeper understanding into the material nature of art objects and of artists' techniques and studio practices. In 2003 the Art Institute of Chicago established a state-of-the-art scientific laboratory, with major funding of $2.75 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and appointed Francesca Casadio as its first conservation scientist. Two years later an associate conservation scientist was added to the staff. The laboratory is equipped with polarized and fluorescence light microscopy, FTIR and Raman microspectroscopies, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, and GC/MS analysis
8 hours 11 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago OPEN NOW—Explore the amazingly diverse and robust world of Islamic art in new galleries. Rotating displays of painting, calligraphy, textiles, architectural fragments, and more tell the vast and varied story of Islamic art, from Spain and northern Africa to India and Central Asia.
10 hours 46 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Go behind the scenes of a beloved painting's dramatic transformation with conservator Faye Wrubel.
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1 day 9 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago From the holy Wise Men to Benito, the lowly sleepy shepherd, the crèche has a sweeping cast of characters from all walks of life.