AskDefine | Define restorer

Dictionary Definition

restorer n : a skilled worker who is employed to restore or refinish buildings or antique furniture [syn: refinisher, renovator, preserver]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. one who restores

Extensive Definition

Art conservation is a profession devoted to the preservation of cultural heritage for the future. Conservation activities include examination, documentation, treatment, and preventive care. All of this work is supported by research and education. Art conservation differs from art restoration in that the latter aims to "restore" art to its original state.

Narrow Definition

The traditional definition of the role of the conservator involves the examination, conservation, and preservation of material culture using "any methods that prove effective in keeping that property in as close to its original condition as possible for as long as possible.”

Broad Definition

Today the definition of the role of conservation has widened and would more accurately be described as that of ethical stewardship.
The conservator applies some simple ethical guidelines, such as:
  • Minimal intervention.
  • Appropriate materials and methods that aim to be reversible to reduce possible problems with future treatment, investigation, and use.
  • Full documentation of all work undertaken.
The conservator aims to take into account the views of the stakeholder and to apply their professional expertise accordingly.

Conservation Ethics

The conservators work is guided by ethical standards. These take the form of applied ethics. Ethical standards have been established across the world, and national and international ethical guidelines have been written. One Such example is:

Specialization within the profession

The profession of art conservation is broad and encomposses many areas of speciality.

Caring for cultural works in a museum setting

Preventive Conservation

Many cultural works are sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity and exposure to sunlight. They must be protected in a controlled environment where such variables are maintained within a range of damage-limiting levels. Shielding from sunlight of artefacts such as watercolour paintings for example is usually necessary to prevent fading of pigments. Preventive conservation is an important element of museum policy and collections care. It is an essential responsibility of members of the museum profession to create and maintain a protective environment for the collections in their care, whether in store, on display, or in transit. A museum should carefully monitor the condition of collections to determine when an object or specimen may require conservation-restoration work and the services of a qualified conservator-restorer.

Interventive Conservation

Interventive Conservation refers to any act by a conservator that involves a direct interaction between the conservator and the cultural material. These interventive treatments could involve the cleaning, stabilizing, repair, or replacement of parts of the cultural material. It is essential that the conservator fully justify any such work, as well as fully documenting the work both before, during, and after the treatment.
The principal goal should be the stabilisation of the object or specimen. All conservation procedures should be documented and as reversible as possible, and all alterations should be clearly distinguishable from the original object or specimen.


Training in conservation for many years took the form of an apprenticeship, whereby an apprentice slowly developed the necessary skills to undertake their job. For some fields within conservation this is still the case, for example Asian Paper conservation. However, for most fields in conservation today the training required to become a practicing conservator is through a recognized university course in conservation.

North America

In addition, the University of Texas at Austin offers a Certificate of Advanced Study in the conservation of library and archival materials as part of its Master of Science in Information Studies program.

United Kingdom

There are numerous training facilities for conservators in the UK, whereas training in the United States tends towards an overview of the conservation profession as a whole, in the UK each institution tends towards their own area of specialism.
  • Cardiff University
    • BSc Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology
    • MSc Care of Collections
    • MSc Conservation
  • University of Lincoln
    • BA (Hons) Conservation & Restoration
    • MA Conservation of Historic Objects
    • Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies
West Dean also offers a series of Diplomas & Professional Development Courses


Conservation Associations

United States

United Kingdom





restorer in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Рэстаўрацыя
restorer in German: Restaurierung
restorer in Spanish: Restauración (arte)
restorer in French: Restauration (art)
restorer in Italian: Restauro
restorer in Dutch: Restauratie (kunst)
restorer in Japanese: 王政復古
restorer in Norwegian: Restaurering
restorer in Polish: Restauracja (architektura)
restorer in Portuguese: Restauração de obras de arte
restorer in Swedish: Restaurering
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