Art Conservation Today

Art conservation is a relatively young profession with its own code of ethics and standards of practice. Its roots trace back to events at the National Gallery of Art in London in the first half of the 20th century when controversies arose around the museum's wartime treatment of their paintings. Present-day art conservation is a multi-disciplinary field that requires conservators to have considerable knowledge in art history, art making, and the chemistry of art materials. Art conservators typically have advanced degrees and years of additional training.

Museum conservators work closely with curators and scientists in determining how best to preserve works of art. Consensus on goals and strategies is required among these museum professionals prior to commencing actual treatment.

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