Paintings Conservation

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A conservator works on a large painting

The moment a painting leaves the artist’s studio it begins to change, acquiring layers of history and meaning that inform the conservators' approach to the treatment and presentation of the artwork. The museum’s collection of paintings ranges from centuries-old altarpieces and easel paintings to modern and contemporary art that may comprise non-traditional materials and constructions. The paintings conservators work in close collaboration with curators, scholars, scientists, and artists to investigate how the work of art was made, how it has changed over time, and how it might age in the future. This understanding helps us to devise appropriate treatment strategies that preserve both the physical and aesthetic integrity of the paintings in our care. In addition to treatment and research, we support many different facets of the museum’s activities, examining paintings for loans and acquisitions, environmental monitoring of exhibition and storage areas, and sharing the rich histories of the artworks with our public and our peers.

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