Conservation

The conservation department  is responsible for the care, research and treatment of works of art housed in the museum. Established in the early 1960s, the conservator’s role was then limited to the physical treatment of works in the collection. Our modern-day conservators have a far wider range of responsibilities, including systematic examination, technical research and conservation treatments.  The materials and techniques used in the making of an object, a painting, or textile have changed over the centuries –often drastically. Modern and contemporary artworks present complex physical and ethical challenges, increasing the subset of specializations within the field.

Conservators work in close collaboration with curators and scientists to make well-informed decisions about the treatment process for each object. Each treatment is far different from the last; physical challenges in preservation and restoration range from removing surface grime to the treatment of organic materials like chocolate sculptures, grease as a binder or animal carcasses suspended in formaldehyde. Additional responsibilities of the conservation department include public outreach, preventive conservation and environmental monitoring. The Conservation Department collaborates with the registrar on storage, pest management, safe display and standards for traveling works of art.

The term ‘technical art history’ was coined to reflect the joint work of conservators and art historians to investigate the physical structure of an object or painting using various methodologies, such as radiography and infrared reflectography, in order to learn more about individual works. Exhibitions now often include information about the artists’ techniques and materials, elucidating the artist’s working methods and enabling the visitor to gain insight into the process of the physical creation of works of art. For more information conservation processes and standards, visit the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).

From Our Collection

1470, Unknown 1874, Motte Kalina, 1969 Feeley, 1962

Upcoming Events

Sep
17
Wed
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 17 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
Sep
18
Thu
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
6:00 pm Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in its Golden Age
Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in …
Sep 18 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in its Golden Age
Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in its Golden Age: Fit for a Screen: The Costume & Textile Society invites you into the world of Hollywood costume design [...]
Sep
19
Fri
12:00 pm Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock
Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Med…
Sep 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock
Albert Bierstadt, In the Mountains, 1867, oil on canvas Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock: Take a closer look at Carl Andre’s Stone Field [...]
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 19 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]

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Hours & Admission

Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
First Thursdays: 11 am – 8 pm

Admission:
Members: Free
Adults: $10
Seniors (age 62+): $8
Students (age 13 & over or with college ID): $5
Children (age 12 & under): Free
First Thursdays (from 5-8 pm): $5