Hiring a Conservator

There are benefits and risks to be considered when engaging an art conservator for work. Client and conservator alike have expectations for any treatment and those must be aligned to facilitate a successful treatment.

 Breadth of Experience

Every art conservator has a different experience level and base of training within their own specialty. It is important to know if the person who is good with maps is also well versed in currency or watercolors. Be selective.


Art conservation treatments involve risk.  Different steps in a treatment carry certain, describable, levels of risk with them. It is imperative that this is understood and have this explained by the consulting conservator before any treatment is commenced.

 Lowering Risks

The primary tools to deal with risk at the disposal of a skilled professional are: communication, observation, and evaluation. Communication between client and conservator is paramount for a successful treatment.  Communication is important when first meeting, signing an agreement, and throughout the work relationship. Observation will allow for as thorough data gathering as possible of the state of the object, prior to treatment.  Evaluation through physical testing of the object will further the observational information gathered and lessen the uncertainty of the outcome of the treatment.