Art does not last forever. Like everything around us, works of art age, deteriorate, and eventually perish. Preserving the diverse collections displayed in the Museum and Park is essential to our appreciation of the creativity of humankind.
The NCMA has employed dedicated conservation staff since 1976. Professional conservators are specifically trained to preserve art and are guided by a code of ethics and standards in practice. Through the study of art, science, history, and technology, they gain a deep understanding of the materials and techniques used in the construction of different types of objects. Their work often provides new insights about artists and the cultures they work in, including technology, economics, and belief systems.
While conservators consult with scientists and other conservation experts to execute the most appropriate forms of preservation and treatment, they also work closely with all staff and volunteers to care for the NCMA’s collections. Nearly every department in the Museum plays a role in conservation and contributes daily to the preservation of the artwork in some way. The exhibits in this gallery will shed light on many of these vital efforts across the Museum campus.
The Art Conservation Gallery will showcase all these factors, collaborations, and insights on a rotating basis. Different projects will be featured, highlighting how artworks are researched, analyzed, and preserved. These behind-the-scenes stories and the knowledge gained enhance our understanding and appreciation of works of art and the artistic process. This ultimately teaches us about ourselves, both now and in the past.
Director of Conservation