restorer n : a skilled worker who is employed to restore or refinish buildings or antique furniture [syn: refinisher, renovator, preserver]
- Rhymes: -ɔːrə(r)
- one who restores
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.
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.”
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.
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.
- Book and paper conservation
- Conservation science
- Electronic media conservation
- Historic preservation
- Object conservation (archaeological, ethnographic, and sculptural)
- Paintings conservation
- Photograph conservation
- Textile preservation
- Variable art conservation
Caring for cultural works in a museum setting
Preventive ConservationMany 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 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.
- The University of Delaware (in association with Winterthur Museum)
- Buffalo State College, New York
- Queen's University, Ontario
- New York University
- University of California, Los Angeles/Getty Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation, http://ioa.ucla.edu/conservation/index.php
- The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Master of Science in Historic Preservation
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.
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.
of SouthamptonTextile Conservation Centre
- MA Textile Conservation
College of Art
- MA Conservation
University The Conservation Unit
- MA Conservation of Fine Art
- MA Preventive Conservation
- BSc Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology
- MSc Care of Collections
- MSc Conservation
- BA (Hons) Conservation & Restoration
- MA Conservation of Historic Objects
- Graduate Diploma Conservation Studies
and Guilds of London Art School department of Conservation
offers several conservation courses including:
- Conservation Studies BA - Three years
- Postgraduate Diploma: Conservation Studies 2 years
- Postgraduate Diploma: Comparative Studies in Conservation Cleaning, techniques in relation to laser cleaning
Courtauld Institute of Art
- Conservation of Easel Painting PgDip]
- MA Conservation of Wall Paintings]
- Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material Inc. http://www.aiccm.org.au/index.aspx
- European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers' Organisations http://www.ecco-eu.org/
- International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works http://www.iiconservation.org/
- International Council Of Museums - Committee for Conservation http://www.icom-cc.org/
- The Society for the protection of Natural History Collections http://www.spnhc.org/
- International Center for the study of preservation of Cultural Property ICCROMhttp://www.iccrom.org/
- Icon, the Institute of Conservation (UK Professional body)
- Freeview Video 'Science and Fine Art' by David Bomford of the National Gallery. A Royal Institution Lecture showing how scientific techniques aid conservation by the Vega Science Trust.
- Animation Art Conservation
- [http://icom.museum/ethics.html#section1 ICOM Code of Ethics]
- Observatory for the Protection of Cultural and Environmental Heritage in areas of crisis
- European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers' Organisations A.I.S.B.L. / Confederation Européenne des Organisations de Conservateurs-Restaurateurs A.I.S.B.L.
- A.R.I. Italian C-Restores' Organisation (IT Professional Body)
- Istituto Centrale per il Restauro I.C.R.Rome-Italy
- Conservation OnLine
- Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia OnLine
- Objects Conservation — Provided by the Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History.
- DOCAM — Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage
- IIC International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works
- Conservation Report on Mukul Dey Archives by C. B. Gupta
- Lunder Conservation Center
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