Caring for the Collection

Riccardi's painting Romeo and Juliet after conservation treatment

The main goal of the Fine Arts Conservator is to ensure the long-term care of all works of art from the Gallery’s collection. Art Conservation involves both preservation and restoration of artwork. All works of art are carefully documented before any restoration work or change is proposed.   

Research and science are important aspects of the Conservator's work. Contemporary art presents new technology, art mediums and materials which challenge traditional conservation treatments. Historical research provides insight into the techniques and materials used by the artist. Science helps us to understand these techniques and materials and what causes them to change over time.

Conservation treatments are designed to stop or repair damages or to restore aesthetic qualities. If a yellowed varnish or dirt layer conceals the original colours of a painting then the treatment proposal would suggest testing to assess the removal of these layers. The careful removal of discoloured tape adhesive from the back of a drawing will prevent further deterioration of the paper. Each artwork requires individual assessment and treatment.

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