Frequently Asked Questions
I've never had conservation work on an art work before, what do I do?
The first thing to do is give us a call or send us an email with a brief description of what you have for us to look at. We will make an appointment for you to bring your piece to us for examination. Once we see it, we can tell what the condition is and give you an estimate for the conservation treatment. We will then write up a proposed treatment, and once we have your signature of approval, we will get started on the treatment. Treatments typically take from 2-6 months depending on the size of the piece and how extensive the treatment.
How much does conservation cost?
There is no cost for our assessment and estimate when you make an appointment. If we travel to you for the appointment, we charge a minimum fee of $50.
We charge $50 for conservation photographs, which include different lighting set ups, ultraviolet fluorescence and infrared reflectography. For a condition and treatment report, which includes photography, the cost is $300.
The treatment costs vary depending on many factors including the size of the piece, the condition, and what treatments can be performed. Minimally, you can expect the cost to start at $500.
What is the difference between Conservation and Restoration?
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works defines conservation as actions taken toward the long-term preservation of cultural property. Conservation activities include examination, documentation, treatment, and preventative care, supported by research and education. A Conservator may be trained at a conservation graduate training program or by lengthy apprenticeship with experienced senior colleagues. They combine unique skills gained through ongoing study and advanced training in art history, science, studio art, and related disciplines to care for and preserve our tangible history.
Restoration practices, which is defined as the preparation and incorporation of replacement parts and surface finishes (i.e. 'compensation for losses') can be a part of conservation treatments to allow proper visual interpretation of an art object and to recapture an acceptable esthetic appearance. The materials and methods used by Conservators in conservation and restoration treatments are generally scientifically and methodically considered, allowing for full reversal without damaging the art work.
You should expect a full condition and treatment report, as well as photographs of the object before and after treatment from a Conservator. A Conservator should also be glad to discuss any treatments, methods, and questions you may have.