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
2 hours 28 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Enjoy a sampling of napkins from our collection with this tongue-in-cheek overview by tastemaker Matt Maldre (Spudart).
1 day 40 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago A close-up shot from Fernand Léger's Ballet Mécanique, now on view in Shatter Rupture Break. Share your own photos of the exhibition using the hashtag #ShatterRuptureBreak for a chance to win a free @threadless t-shirt inspired by the show!
1 day 2 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SUNDAY—Bridget Riley’s eye-popping rhythmic abstractions are as intense as they are hypnotic. See her work before it goes off view March 8.