Art Conservation, Conservation of Art

Why Is Conservation of Art Important?

Conservation of art is an attempt to preserve and repair paintings, architecture, drawings, prints, objects such as glassware, furniture, textiles, metal, ceramics, and sculptures which may have been affected or damaged due to negligence, natural effects such as timely decay and use by humans.

Preservation and maintenance of any artwork and the protection from further deterioration or damage is all art conservation. While art restoration means the renovation of the damaged art and an honest try to give them their original appearance, both conservation of art and restoration of art are the different sides of the same coin.

Some of the world’s greatest artists have expressed their feelings and creativity in the form of great pieces of art. Each of these paintings, artifacts, and all other forms of art are unique and cannot be replicated in their originality. Each of these conveys a timeless message.

Conservation of art has become extremely important today as it gives a glimpse of our ancient heritage and culture. Taking all the wonders of the world as an example we can say that they are unique in their own way and have withstood the test of time through proper preservation, conservation, and restoration from time to time.

Art restoration during ancient times depended on very limited techniques. As science and technology progressed, the techniques also became more refined and effective making us realize the importance of historicpreservation.

The practice of modern conservation is based on repairing, studying, and preserving objects taking care that no permanent changes or alterations are done. Now there are many ways of treating and restoring art objects and professional conservators always document their work through written reports and photographs.


Nowadays, restoring old architecture and conserving it is gaining much importance. The world is realizing the importance of ancient buildings and monuments as it connects them to their history. Many ancient buildings are an architectural wonder and some of them have not only been restored but also repaired or some parts have been rebuilt. Master craftsmen are giving their personal touches to give these monuments a new look. This helps the visitors to witness history in the present time.


Every painting whether on canvas, wood, wall, neural, paper or ivory have their specific ways of conservation. Canvas paintings can get discolored, torn, or frayed from the edges, or even decay. Paintings on wood can lose their luster as wood can swell or shrink due to climatic changes. Thus, it becomes important to restore and conserve them for future generations to know their ancestors through art.


The sculptures have been created on clay, stone, wood, metal, ivory, and bone and we can also find unique pieces of sculpture on composites and plastics. Stone sculptures can be damaged through erosion, water, or environmental conditions. Metal sculptures mainly deteriorate due to the effects of the environment on metals such as rusting of iron and tarnishing of silver.

Thus, it becomes important to preserve these pieces of art.


Ceramics and clay have been used to create small figurate, objects for decoration as well as a large sculpture which generally don’t deteriorate unless broken.


Ancient tapestries and other textiles can fade due to excessive light or get damaged because of air pollution. The fiber of the material can be weakened and lose its luster.

Since museums exhibit various works of ancient art on a large scale it is very important for the art curator to preserve the collectibles according to collections care. It is important to conserve art as it helps in preserving history, reflecting the changes over a period of time in various cultures. Thus, historic preservation is essential for connecting the past with the present.

Also, caring for these collections becomes important as it also helps the collectors build some business by showcasing their artifacts to the public. The general public gains an insight into the history and culture of the older civilizations, their way of life, their eating habits, the garments they wore, and their mind behind the creations.

Art conservation and art preservation play a very important part in appreciating the works of art created by our predecessors and stay in touch with our history.

Art Conservation, Conservation of Art Art Preservation Historic Restoration

Difference Between : Art preservation vs. Art conservation vs. Restoration

In the world of museum collections care, many phrases and terms might be confusing. Even the most experienced art conservators might use one term when they intended to use another. While using confusing shadows for shading or interchanging the term classic with classical can be a silly mistake in museum care, it is rather a harmless mistake.

But some terms can lead to serious outcomes if interchanged. The most common mistaken terms are restoration, art conservation, and art restoration.

Though these three terms are often confused, they are set apart by many differences. While they are associated with enhancing the artwork, restoration and conservation have different methods to treat an artwork. When someone looking to get their artwork restored interchanges these terms, they could be ending up putting their expensive artwork in the wrong hands.

By figuring out the differences between art conservation, art preservation, and art restoration, you can make an informed decision about the process they want. All are important parts of historic preservation.

Here we have come up with some differences between art conservation and art restoration to clear any doubts about these three fields of work.

Understanding the Definition of Art Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration:

What is Art Preservation?

Art preservation involves protecting an object from destruction and making sure that the object is not altered or changed. It is a commonly used term for architecture and the built environment.

What is Art Conservation?

Conservation refers to the process of preserving the maximum amount of the original material in as unaltered condition as possible. All additions or repairs should be reversible and removable without impacting the condition of the original material, even in the future. However, conservation doesn’t encompass artistic choices or material experimentation on the object. An museum art conservator is also responsible for preserving the original work. It requires them to be skilled in cleaning, repairing, and oftentimes, removing old restoration attempts. They have to make sure that the art is preserved for years to come. They attempt to keep the original piece in its original form as possible.

What is Art Restoration?

Restoration refers to the process of bringing an object back to its original position or condition. When restoring an art object, the absolute focus is on its final appearance. The client and restorer determine the most desirable period of an object’s life, and the restorer does whatever is required to return the object’s original appearance. Some restorers might not consider the long-term, damaging impacts of using certain materials on artwork.

However, it should not be confused with a renovation that is the process of making an object look new. It should be performed by an experienced and knowledgeable person. Otherwise, unsafe practices, tools, and cleaning supplies can lead to irreversible damage immediately or in the future.

Choose the Right Professional to Work With

We hope that you must have understood the key differences between preservation, conservation, and restoration. Like we have said before, every practice plays important role in historic preservation.

Whatever you choose, make sure to work with a certified professional. It will give you peace of mind that your artwork is in the safe hand. They are knowledgeable and certified for maintaining and improving the piece of art. Whether you have an artwork that needs to be cleaned, a sculpture that has to be reassembled, or an artifact that needs to be repaired, choosing the right professional can give your beloved piece of art a new lease of life.

What do you think? Want to say something else? Let us know by commenting below!

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Art Conservation, Conservation of Art Barbara Appelbaum Books

The Art Conservation Guide – Barbara Appelbaum Books

Most of us must have heard about “art conservation” without actually having any knowledge about what it is and how is it important in the world of art. This art conservation guide will give you a detailed insight into its importance and how to get started with this incredible service to protect and restore the art around.

In this guide, we shall be discussing the topics below in brief-

· Art Conservation

· Importance of Art Conservation

· Terms of Importance

· How to start Art Conservation

Art Conservation

The process involving documentation, stabilization, and preservation of objects is called art conservation. Conservation is a combination of historical research, analyzing science, scientific material. Treatment for conservation or plans for maintenance is created only when all the above three aspects work together.

Nearly all types of artifacts irrespective of their age, whether it is a new structure of public art or an ancient painting aging more than 100 years can be conserved to give a brand-new look. Conservation not only works on paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts that have heritage value but also, can be applied to historic clothing, ancient vehicles, and artifacts related to the military.

Importance of Art Conservation

· Ensures Business

Art conservation is important as it restores your art to make them look fresh without losing its originality. When you are working in an organization that is home to many historic collections of artifacts, conservation of such art becomes necessary to attract business as your potential clients will know that you care and will place their trust in you. It also ensures a secure future for your organization and helps you grow your business and worth.

· Protecting the culture of a community

A community’s culture is largely reflected through its art and various artists work hard towards the creation of pieces that depicts change, documenting the present and cherishing the past.

· Preserving History

The art of conservation aims at restoring artifacts to preserve history for a longer period. Thousands of objects all over the world, several paintings, cultural-historical artifacts as well as many historical sites have been restored and many are still in the process to give the viewers a glimpse of ancient history. This art conservation process helps the visitors get a glimpse of how history was in a near-original form.

Terms of Importance

· Condition Assessment

A conservator examines an object carefully and thoroughly to get an idea of the current state of the artifact that needs to be restored. s/he recommends the procedures to conduct restoration, creating a replica of the missing parts as well as suggesting ways to maintain and preserve them.

· Preservation

A process to keep the original form of an artifact intact for a long period through different efforts.

· Restoration

Efforts to make a change in an object to make sure it reflects its original version. Sometimes it becomes impossible to recreate the original past and the conservator replaces or recreates the parts which may not have been in the original version but helps is reflecting the preserved past.

· Stabilization

The process through which deterioration can be minimized and the original work can be kept intact.

How to start an art conservation

Conserving art is a continuous and important process to help preserve history and recreate the past for generations to have a better understanding of ancient heritage. The first step towards art conservation is assessing and determining a state of an object. By doing the basic assessment and forming a basic structure for further restoration and preservation process. It also involves the best possible ways to maintain the object’s condition as it is for a long period.

· Condition Assessment

If you are new to the process of conservation, it is preferred to assess the collection of artifacts. Through this, you will get a fair general idea and will be able to identify the object which needs conservation and prioritize accordingly. Another benefit will be collaborating with a professional conservator who will help you in the assessment and will also help determine the pieces which require care and prioritization. Creating an inventory for keeping a track of your collection of artifacts in the process of restoration and maintaining the status of each art piece will help you in a smooth conservation process.

· Treatment of an artifact

After the assessment has been made about the pieces of artifacts, the conservators can follow the treatment process. The time taken for completing this work purely depends upon the complexities and intricacies of every object and the work required to be accomplished. In order to complete the treatment of the artifacts, there may be a requirement of procuring material, a requirement of testing, and a certain amount of research.

· Maintenance

It is very important to create a plan for maintenance for the collection. It is as important as the process of treatment. Maintenance helps in continuing to keep the collection artifacts in a proper state for a long time whereas, treatment helps in bringing out the true value of the pieces. You can also take the help of trained interns and volunteers to help complete the process within the specified time. Once the restoration and conservation process is complete, you can generate business and partnerships through your art collection which can also help in boosting tourism.

Hope this Art Conservation Guide helps you in restoring the artifacts you hold dear and bring back their lost glory by recreating a fusion of the past and the present also allowing you to take this up as a career and generate business.

Art Conservation, Conservation of Art

What Does a Art Museum Conservator Do?

Who is Museum Conservator?

Museum conservators are responsible for the handling, preservation, and preventing the deterioration of museum objects such as art or artifacts. They also work to restore them to their original form.

Therefore, it is safe to say that they play an important role in preserving the glory and beauty of centuries-old artifacts and works. This way, they make them look as beautiful as now as they did back when they were made.

What Does he do?

The job of art museum conservator is to preserve the art and as close to its original condition as possible.

However, their work is often categorized by the area they hold expertise in. Some might work to preserve and prepare a collection of documents and books, while others might restore and preserve valuable paintings.

For conservators who handle the objects in museums of natural science, a big part of their job is to create and develop accurate skeletal mounts for fossils and life-sized replicas of specimens.

90% of the part of the job is dedicated to what is called preventative conservation.

They work with controlling the light the temperature and humidity in the galleries so that they can keep these objects around for a long time even when they have controlled environments.

Things still get dusty. And the dust can have all sorts of acids and dirt, require a careful cleaning every week. Besides, there is a need to protect the collection from dust and dirt in the first place.

It requires a lot of education and training, whether it’s painting or printmaking, or learning sculpture.

For example, even a person from a fine arts background needs to undergo some sort of training in chemistry.

The artwork is analyzed so that they can know how things are made chemically; how they aged and then they have to design treatment strategies that are based on this chemical analysis.

Art Conservation, Conservation of Art Historic Restoration

Best Books on Art Conservation and Restoration

Perhaps you are a beginner who has just stepped into the profession of art conservation.

Or maybe you are an experienced professional looking for the right materials to protect your delicate museum collections.

Or maybe, just maybe, you are seeking the best solutions to handle the restoration process of those old paintings.

Reading the books on art conservation and restoration is one of the practical yet cost-effective ways to address such concerns.

Thousands of books are equipped with reflections and advice on art care and conservation. But finding one that’s insightful, practical, and interesting—and a good one to read—can be overwhelming.

Here is a rundown of some valuable books on art care to help you hone your skills as a curator, museum manager, archivist, or independent collector.

Top 6 Books on Art Conservation and Restoration That Must Read ( INFOGRAPHIC)

(Infographic) – Best Books on art Conservation & Restoration

Historical and Philosophical Issues in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage:

This book is a part of a series called READINGS IN CONSERVATION BY THE GETTY CONSERVATION INSTITUTE. It guides you on the approaches of art conservation. The book has put a lot of important subjects into perspectives such as modern conservation theory, the original intent of the artist on how to approach historic restorations, the concept of patina, and the science in art conservation.

Above all, this book has been published by the GETTY CONSERVATION INSTITUTE that is a reliable authority in art care and conservation.

Conservation Treatment Methodology by Barbara Appelbaum:

Conservation Treatment Methodology

If you want to know how to approach an object before you actually start treating and handling it, this book by Barbara Appelbaum is a great help.

The book guides you through the visual examination and documentation that has to be done to help you choose the best method and materials for cleaning for adhering to infilling for painting. The author has listed all the different things you need to consider when it comes to conservation.

You will understand why one methodology is not great for every object even if it is made from the same material or made by the same artist. You will understand why it is important to go through the material science of the object as well as its historical and cultural significance and sentimental value while “treating” it.

Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects

In this book, the authors provide the fundamentals of the composition analysis and properties of the organic materials that you will find in museum collections. Besides, the book covers a full section on the various analytical methods being used in conservation like chromatography. The contents are more focused on conservation and museum materials.

The book has covered the fundamental chemistry of the materials such as paper, wood, natural, fibers, and skin products, as well as that of the comparatively minor components incorporated as media, varnishes, dyes, paint, and adhesives.

This book is a valuable purchase for all the professional and student conservators, museum professionals, curators, organic chemists, and restorers.

However, to make the most of the ideas given in the books, one should have a base in chemistry and any sort of chemistry textbook can help you with that.

The Story of Art:

This eminent book is the brainchild of Sir Ernst Gombrich (1909-2001) who is known for his expertise. He has authored several books that have been translated into more than twenty languages and many of them are classics.

His books are models of art-historical writing and stand for his deep and abiding concerns with the standards and values of cultural heritage.

However, it is important to have a basic understanding of art history so you can better approach your objects.

Conservation and Restoration of Ceramics:

This book has everything that you need to know about ceramics conservations and restoration. In fact, this is a must-have for someone who wants to master ceramics conservations and restoration.

The book covers everything like ceramic technology, deterioration, cleaning filling, consolidation, retouching, preventative measures, and how to set up a lab.

The book starts with a discussion of the basics of the ceramic medium, information which of the utmost importance when choosing treatments or considering preventive conservation steps.

Details on techniques are given in a series of chapters covering the restoration and conservation processes, but the highlight is on the fundamentals involves in the choice of materials and methods. The nature and properties of materials are fully discussed and instructions are given on the facilities and tools required.

This book also covers the old restoration materials and methods, the ethics of ceramics, assessment and display treatments, and emergency processes.

The Elements of Archaeological Conservation

The book covers everything it goes into archaeological environments and the various agents of decay in them.

This is downright essential as different materials will behave differently in wet areas than they would in dry areas. The book throws light on the reaction triggered by oxygen, and salt acidity of the soil. It also educates on the properties of each separate material and their properties, structure, and deterioration in the ground and post-excavation.

Although the book was first published in 1990, a lot of information is still relevant and valuable.

So these are some best books on museum care and restoration. Shop them now to learn from the renowned museum professionals!!!