Photograph via snooOG

r/ArtConservation is a community for conservators and those interested in the field of conservation--the preservation of artworks and artifacts. Sharing technical info, treatments, preventive questions, free webinars or opportunities and art & conservation news are all welcome.

A subreddit for news, topics, and discussions related to the fields of art conservation and heritage preservation.

Related subreddits you may be interested in include: /r/MuseumPros; /r/ArtHistory; /r/DigitalHistory; and /r/ArtTheory.


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Are small (and few) white specs something to worry about on Crayon Enlargement?

I have two Crayon Enlargement's of my 3rd and 2nd great grandparents that are 1890s-1900s, the one of my 3rd great grandparent's has a few tiny white specs. I store the portraits in my dark closet with a blanket covering them so dust won't land on it, the closet is usually 69 degrees but will range from 67-72, humidity is usually 49-50 but will range from 47-52. I'm just worried it will become like some of those crayon enlargements that have giant white patches. I've posted the portrait's earlier so I'd encourage you to check, the one I'm talking about is with the guy who has a beard.

13:39 UTC


Does this mean my painting is done for?

I stretched artist grade linen canvas and primed it with two coats of rabbits skin glue, drying fully before the next coat. I wanted to keep the linen texture visible so I didn’t gesso it and read that it was fine if there are two coats of glue on it.

I started painting and used turponoid to dilute some of the paint, a few days later I turn the back and there are visible blue paint spottings on it. Does this mean my painting is done for? What can I do to prevent/avoid this happening in future paintings?

I noticed some other canvases I had painted had similar spottings on the back including one from Blick that I had purchased already prepped for painting.

1 Comment
13:08 UTC


Would it be possible to clean/reverse this watercolor damage/staining?

1 Comment
19:30 UTC


Frame repair and wood art repair

I have a few pieces of art 2 from the 60s and the other two haven’t been able to originate. But they all have wood on them 2 are just framed in wood that has become weak and likes to move I assume a repairer could just glue it or something better idk. The full wood ones are completely wood no canvas the guy painted on wood they’re very nice but the nail/staples that are holding in the wood have give way leading to some boards popping out. I could just nail more in but don’t wanna risk popping through the art work. Could anyone recommend someone near Michigan that could repair this kinda stuff.

1 Comment
14:21 UTC


Canvas painting has rot on the wood, can it be saved?

I hope this is the right place to ask, if not, if anyone knows other subreddits where else I can get answers, please let me know. I found this painting that unfortunately was left in storage that water got to. It is just the bottom corner of the frame that was affected, but as you can see in the pics, the moisture did creep up to the canvas itself. I have carefully removed it from the frame and it has dried, but there is damage. Can this be saved? Or can I do anything to it for now to stop it from deteriorating anymore? It is by a known Canadian artist so I don't just want to get rid of it. Thanks!


21:02 UTC


Learning Poster restoration and preservation; NOT a DIY request

I am an avid vintage poster collector and have been for the past 35 years. I have watched with amazement how others I have encountered over the years have skillfully restored and preserved old paper and posters I found (my oldest is a two panel printed in 1894).

I want to learn how to restore and preserve posters with linen lining so I can do it myself. This will allow me to expand my interests within my budget with a goal of opening my own business in semi-retirement someday.

I am looking for course of study to learn. I am afraid that too many YouTube videos is making me think reckless thoughts and one day I will do something stupid in my garage.

I am open to learning in either English or Spanish (but alas, not French). Preferably hands on.

Any suggestions?

14:02 UTC


Conservation Job Board Collecting

I just came across this incredible resource over at r/MuseumPros which is a comprehensive list of job boards for museum-related positions. I would absolutely love to do this for conservation to add it to our sidebar links!

If any of you have a couple of go to spots to look for job postings, please consider adding them here so I might collect them into one accessible location!

A few to get the ball rolling:

American Institute for Conservation Career Center

International Institute for Conservation Job Board

University of Delaware Jobs and Internships Database

Midwest Regional Conservation Guild Job Postings

Washington Conservation Guild Jobs

14:22 UTC

13:40 UTC


Interview advice

Hi everyone,

I have my first ever conservation job interview next week and I am a little nervous! I am wondering if there are any tips or things you wish you would have known before going into your first conservation interview. Will they ask me standard interview questions, like “what is your biggest weakness” or “can you tell me that one time you had to over a disagreement at work”? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

😊 Thank you!

16:32 UTC


Met Museum Library’s conservation lab profiles

Great to see some colleagues (and the beautiful space!) profiled in a major outlet:


11:32 UTC


Any job placement stats out there? Also advice on alternative career options...

I'm a parent helping my undergraduate daughter and aspiring conservator to think through career planning decisions carefully. I know that this is a really tough field, that after all the work to get into grad school, even that is a long shot, and then it can be hard to find a job, the jobs that exist tend to be short-term, and the pay isn't great. I've seen the salary surveys, but I'm also interested to hear about the people who never land a job in conservation. Does anyone know of anything for conservation grads similar to the career placement stats that 4-year colleges publish? That is, if there are 30 or 40 art conservation grads from the US grad programs in any given year, how many find jobs in conservation within 6 months, a year, two years?

I'm also curious to know, if you couldn't be a conservator, what would you choose instead? Daughter's two main criteria are (1) working in a museum and (2) being hands on with artifacts. I think (1) is a little flexible but (2) is their primary career criterion.

Anything else (beyond the standard FAQs) you would've wanted to know or consider as an undergrad?

16:04 UTC


alternatives with conservation degree

hello all!

I will be finishing my master's degree in paper conservation this year, I have a bachelor's in the same field as well as a 3 year apprenticeship as a bookbinder. during my studies I took up various opportunities such as internships, projects and freelance work. my resume/cv in general is quite or maybe even really good and I am still in love with the field but....

everyone knows how little it pays and how flexible you have to be, I already moved multiple times during the last years and it's just getting stressful. I am not from a wealthy family and I guess I am just sick of struggling and having to redirect my life because of a job.

so my question would be:

what could be the alternatives to a job as a conservator be despite "only" having degrees in this field? did someone start something completely different without having to study again? what is our degree worth outside of our field?

happy to hear some opinions or experiences

1 Comment
20:59 UTC


Help with conserving wooden sculptures w/ mold stains and depigmentation, please - details in comments

11:42 UTC


Reorienting into art conservation

Hi, Im currently having a quater life crisis and I've recently been considering art conservation.

I studied art direction for 3 years but I hated it, however classes that I loved was our drawing course and art history.

Conservation seems like a really fully career however I am concerned with the career prospects. I'm having a hard time finding information on whether or not art conservators are in demand or if it's an over-saturated field.

Also, from what I understand, you become an art conservator after your masters? like you have to do a masters? because i can't seem to find bachelors or straight up training for it.

Are masters very competitive to get into? I'm looking only in Europe so for example University of Amsterdam seems to have a great program, but I can't telling how selective it is.

I would reaaaally appreciate any help or advice or answers, I've been doing research but hearing personal advice would be amazing>

17:19 UTC


Looking for Grad School Advice

Hello! Looking for some advice for grad school, I am on my second year of applying for conservation programs in NA and abroad (I am from the US). This year I was accepted to University of Bologna in Ravenna, I have some archaeological experience in the EU and would love to do a masters there. I have been warned about the difficulty of returning to the US after getting an MA abroad. Would getting my degree abroad open up opportunities in Italy or the EU? Or would it be better to stay in NA for a masters and later career work. Any advice, input, or personal experience is so appreciated!

17:34 UTC


object material testing

Hey team,

I have a somewhat naive question. How does one go about requesting/convincing a museum to test the material of an object? I'm an MA art history student and will write my thesis on an ivory object I believe is not. I've accessed the object file and there has been VERY little research on it for a rather significant collection/museum-- date and origin aren't agreed upon among the museum curators. I have the support of my professor and two other well-known scholars so this isn't unmerited. I'm unsure how to begin as I know it is no easy task. Is there a formal process for this kind of request? How do I initiate the conversation?

(It's a whole other story to address frustration that I'm not prepared to do these things but almost graduated from my program!!!)

14:17 UTC


Rejection and Acceptance

Dear Conservators,

I am a person who has applied for the first year at the two big programs, and FIT for their conservation programs. I was rejected from WUDPAC and Buffalo, (just short on a few requirements) and was accepted into the FIT program.

I am trying to decide if I should jump in and take the offer from FIT, or if I should defer (if an option) and reapply next year again at all programs.

Other context: I have a degree in Anthropology, and 8+ years of collections management and preventative conservation experience. I have just finished my first Organic chemistry course, and am taking a short break before I take the last class. I have just a few studio art things to build on before next application cycle and art history. And will have that all done well in advance of the next application cycle.

I would love to hear thoughts on the FIT program, how y'all think it compares to other Textile Conservation programs and the benefit to starting sooner rather than later. Or sticking it out for another year and reapplying every where.



19:16 UTC


Could someone here explain in detail the materials (glues, substrates etc) used in this video?

1 Comment
18:39 UTC


Looking to Understand The Day to Days of an Art Conservator!

Hi all! My name is DJ, and I'm reaching out because I'm researching to better understand the needs and challenges faced by professionals in the art conservation industry. Specifically, I am really interested in understanding the day to days, workflows, and processes to manage projects.

I used to be a freelance writer focusing on art in Boston and have always been passionate about art and literature. My career has led me into tech and I have spent most of it working at Toast and other companies that focus on improving business operations. I always thought a Toast for the art world, specifically art conservation, would be really cool.

If anyone had a few moments to chat about their experiences and thoughts on how they currently manage their workflow and finances when working on art conservation projects, or share some insights here I would greatly appreciate it!

21:58 UTC


Books Vs. Object Conservation

Hi there! First ever Reddit post, so please bare with me!

I'm about to graduate with my Bachelor's degree, and I'm hoping to go into the art conservation field with a Masters degree after saving up money and experience through internships, volunteering and whatnot. I'm stuck between two specializations, books and objects. On the one hand, I've loved books my entire life and they have a very special place in my heart. On the other hand, specializing in objects opens up the field to different daily tasks that could add some variety to my job. Essentially, while I love books, I'm worried about potential repetition making my day-to-day boring.

I'm hoping to get some input from people who are already within the field! Please feel free to share pros and cons of each specialization, any other considerations I haven't mentioned, etc.

03:44 UTC


I'm in college and I need help

For one of my courses I'm required to do an interview with someone in the field I am looking into. That's "Conservation." I haven't narrowed it down yet so anyone willing to take a moment to respond would be very appreciated. I would just like to know the following;

What is your niche? What do you conserve / restore?

What type of education or training did you need get into your field of work?

Can you tell me what a typical day at work is like?

Do you find your career rewarding?

Was it difficult to get a job in your field?

If you own your own business, was it difficult to get it going?

Would you have chosen to do something else if you knew what you know now?

If anyone is so gracious to help me I would be really thankful. I personally do not know anyone that does any type of conservation work personally, which has made this assignment a bit frustrating. So anyone that answers my post...Thank you again.

02:04 UTC


New varnish keeps blooming

Long shot but I thought someone here might have knowledge that and artist doesn't. I'm trying to varnish a painting with gamvar matte and it's blooming. I even removed the new application with gamsol and tried a different application of a spray varnish on a corner and it's blooming again. Is there something I'm missing? Why would a clean paint surface cause the varnish to dry so foggy? Is there a chemical reaction I'm missing?

20:52 UTC


Brown spots on canvas artwork, mould or something else?

Hoping someone can shed some light on what these spots are? I've had this art in a spare bedroom just sitting on the floor and all the brown marks appear in a semi straight line across the art.

I've tried to dab them with a q tip and scrap off the brown with a Bobby pin. Any suggestions or help on the matter would be greatly appreciated!

https://ibb.co/Npy1S55 https://ibb.co/NFFs9Hd https://ibb.co/rMrZ2FT

09:39 UTC

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