Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) does not conserve art objects, there are
many resources for these services. Here is a referral list and handy tips
for your consideration, plus other resources:
- American Institute for Conservation
of Historic and Artistic Works (1717 K Street N. W. Suite 301, Washington,
DC 20006) is a professional membership organization for conservators. Their
web site contains links to valuable information concerning conservation
of art objects. See AIC's sections on "Caring For Your Treasures"
and "Selecting a Conservator." Call the Institute at 1-202-452-9545
for names of local conservators.
My Heritage" is a web site provided by the Canadian Conservation
Institute. This excellent site contains in-depth sections on the care of
17 types of art objects
- The Upper Midwest Conservation
Association (2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Tel. 1-612-870-3120)
web site explains the conservation process for various media.
- Western Association
for Art Conservation, based in Los Angeles, CA. publishes the The WAAC
Newsletter (ISSN 1052-0066). Back
issues are located on their web site.
- "What Can I Do -- To Protect My Water
Color Paintings?" from the C. M. Russell Museum has many useful
- The University of Michigan Museum of Art has a web
page that describes how to care for and conserve works of art on paper.
- Tru Vue, Inc. provides further information explaining the role of glazing in protecting water color paintings
and other works on paper.
- The American Museum of Photography offers on its web site seven recommendations
on the care of photographs
- "How to Care for Original
Oil Paintings" is an article by Robyn Bellospirito, PO Box 302,
Locust Valley, NY 11560.
- University of Delaware Library, Newark, DE, features on its web site
"Library Networked Databases"
on art conservation.
- Caring for Bronze Sculpture from the
C. M. Russell Museum has many useful tips.
- The Polk Museum of Art
has a web page "Care
and Evaluation of Your Art." it says: "We all know that light
makes colors fade, but it also deteriorates the materials used in a work
of art or an antique. Keep sunlight exposure to a minimum by closing the
drapes when you are not at home. Having your windows tinted will not only
prolong the life of you art, it will also, in most cases, lower your energy
bill. Avoid placing art in rooms with fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights
give off a lot of UV (Ultra-Violet) light which is especially destructive
to the colored pigments and dyes used in art, fabrics and upholstery. "
and "Temperature and humidity are the other major environmental factors
that can lead to the destruction of art and antiques. In most instances,
Museums try to maintain a temperature of 70º degrees and 50% humidity.
This is ideal for most objects. At higher humidity levels, metals begin
to rust or tarnish and mold begins to grow above 65%. At lower levels,
paper becomes brittle and fragile and furniture joints may begin to loosen.
Keeping your air conditioning on in the summer and using a humidifier in
the winter (depending on the part of the country you live in) will go a
long way to preserving your art. " The page offers six other important
pointers on the care of art works.
- The Indianapolis Museum of Art has a web
page describing the conservation of a painting by Bellini. The Getty
Museum's web site, as of April 2005, provides videos including: Conservation:
Paintings (4:50); Conservation: Works on Paper (5:05); Conservation: Antiquities
(5:10), and Conservation: Decorative Arts (5:17) in a "Video
Gallery" that uses RealPlayer. IMA's Artbabble.org presents Conserving
Norman Rockwell's "United Nations" from the Norman Rockwell
- Staff at a local museum may be willing to share names of professional
conservators. See Resource Library's Sources
of News Articles Indexed by State within the United States for an alphabetical
list of museums indexed by state.
- The February 2004 issue of The Forbes Collector reports: "...consider
the extra costs fund managers will incur in adequately storing, conserving
and insuring the art. [Philip] Hoffman contends that his Fine Art Fund
will hold these costs to a total of 2% of an investor's total contribution."
Serious collectors need to budget for the ongoing costs of maintaining
a collection. According to another article in Forbes magazine, (see
the revealing June 16, 1997 article "Eternity is Delusional,"
by Doris Athineos) a conservator will write a report on a work's condition,
propose treatment if needed and estimate cost and time for about $250 for
each work of art. Conservators also render opinions on authenticity of
- On the topic of art storage, in a 6/14/07 article in the Wall Street
Journal titled "Off-the-Wall (Storage) Sites for Art," author
Daniel Grant says: "According to Tim Dietz, vice president of the
Alexandria, Va.-based Self-Storage Association, the industry began in rural
and suburban America, "clearing out stuff from the garage and making
room for the car, or clearing out a bedroom so someone could sleep in it,"
eventually making inroads into cities over the past quarter-century. Fine-art
storage has been principally an urban affair, and with it has come issues
of environmental controls and enhanced security. The Self-Storage Association
has no industry definition of some of the terms individual facility owners
use -- "climate-controlled," "true humidity controlled,"
"museum-quality controls" -- and Mr. Dietz stated that "the
courts are establishing the meaning of these terms." One of those
courts, the Ohio Court of Appeals, ruled in April 2006 that the owners
of a storage facility in West Geauga fraudulently represented their site
as "climate-controlled" to a man who found his stored furniture
and collectibles damaged."
- Dr. Nancy Odegaard, Conservator, Head of Preservation at the Arizona
State Museum, University of Arizona offers a page titled "Some Comments
On The Care Of Navajo Textiles" in which she discusses several
aspects of conservation of Navajo textiles.
- In a 7/29/16 essay from CMA Stories titled "The
Restoration that Revealed the Identity of an Artist" Columbia
Museum of Art Chief Curator Will South writes about the subject of the
painting Portrait of General Thomas Sumter, artist Johann Stolle
and the restoration process. Accessed 10/16.
- Suggested books:
- An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs,
Craig A. Tuttle, 1994 (116 pages)
The Care of Prints and Drawings, Margaret Holben Ellis, 1995 (253
Care of Photographs, Siegfried Rempel, 1987 (184 pages)
- Allworth Press has a helpful book titled Caring for Your Art: A
Guide for Artists, Collectors, Galleries, & Art Institutions, 3rd edition,
by Jill Snyder.
- Matting, Mounting, and Framing Art, Max Hyder, 1986 (142 pages).
- See the Print Council of America Book
List covering the care of prints.
- Suggested Videos:
- Dr. Mark Sublette, owner of Medicine Man Gallery in
Tucson and Santa Fe, has created a channel
of YouTube online videos on topics relating to Native American baskets,
weavings, pottery and carvings. Titles regarding authentication include:
Not to do with your artwork if you want to have it evaluated
on how Not to handle your Native American Art work
Care Of Navajo Weavings
Rug and Blanket Restoration
Weaving and Moths
- In April, 2009 the Indianapolis Museum of Art announced
the launch of ArtBabble.org, an
online community created to showcase art-based video content. The site
allows visitors to explore works of art online through a collection of
interviews with artists and curators, original documentaries and art installation
videos. Incorporating cutting-edge technology, ArtBabble features high-definition
video, full text transcription of all the videos on site and interactive
features including viewer feedback and video sharing. One of the topics
covered by ArtBabble is "Conservation."
- Basic Art Handling:
15 minutes 1988."Have you ever pondered the proper procedure for moving
a large sculpture from one place to another? Do you know the safest way
to store paintings and prints? These and other art-handling questions are
addressed in this videotape, produced by the Gallery Association of New
York State. Professionals and private collectors answer questions about
preserving precious objects, and a professional conservator demonstrates
techniques designed to make art handling safe and effective. Recommended
for classes in conservation and art handling, as well as for use by professional
organizations." (Quotes are courtesy the Virginia
Museum of Fine Arts)
- The non-profit Exhibition Alliance created a
video which, according to the American Association of Museums: "shows
the best methods for handling artworks and artifacts, using demonstrations
and a question-and-answer format. The 26-minute video is an excellent training
tool for registrars, curators, art preparators, artists, students, shippers,
or anyone responsible for handling works of art or historical artifacts."
The Exhibition Alliance also has a web page containing "technical
briefs" which are illustrated and helpful for learning how to prepare
artworks for exhibition and shipping. They have prepared a page including
a budget worksheet to help in planning and management of exhibitions.
- Scott M. Haskins of Fine
Art Conservation Laboratories presented as of June, 2013 95 YouTube
videos on many conservation subjects and projects. Many videos cover
American representational art paintings. As an example, Monterey Museum
of Art and Fine Art Conservation Laboratories presented as of July 2011
"Cleaning a Painting
by Armin Hansen From The Monterey Museum of Art" a 03:44 YouTube
video by Scott M. Haskins.
- Smithsonian Videos presentes
the 04:04 video "The
Art and Science of Conservation: Behind the Scenes at the Freer Gallery
of Art," featuring staff of the museum. The Lunder Conservation
Center of the Smithsonian presents 22
video interviews of leading art conservators on their work including
remarks by Dr. Joyce Hill Stoner on her Maxfield Parrish project. Accessed
- Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center / DeWitt
Wallace Decorative Arts Museum has
posted 2 videos: "Painters and Paintings in the Early South"
a 5 min video explaining how "preparation for a new exhibit unites
artists and conservators" and "Conservation: Where Art and Science
Meet" a 2010 5 min video explianing how "museum curators wage
daily battle against 10 agents of decay." Accessed 11/16
Return to Resources for Collectors,
Life Long Learners, Students and Teachers of Art History
The above names and addresses are provided only as referrals
for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in employing these
or other consultants or vendors. Traditional Fine Art Organization, Inc.
takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information herein. Information
from the named firms may be inaccurate or out of date. Traditional Fine
Art Organization, Inc neither recommends or endorses the above referenced
organizations. Although Traditional Fine Art Organization, Inc. includes
links to other Internet sites, it takes no responsibility for the content
or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial
or other control over those other sites. For
more information on evaluating web pages see Traditional Fine Arts Organization,
Inc.'s General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors
and Students of Art History.
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