Why Art Conservation Is Necessary: The Value of Preserving History

Every artwork has a deep history and a story. It is a part of a bigger picture that spans from the artist’s imagination to the viewer’s appreciation. Artwork can be valued in different ways, but one way it is often assessed is by its authenticity.

What does this mean? In most cases, it means that an artwork’s original condition must be preserved for future generations to view and appreciate in its original form, with any later attempts to restore or alter it being deemed unnecessary.

This may seem like a difficult task at first, given how different artworks are in terms of their style and features, but with these tips on what you should do before starting your art conservation process, you’ll be able to preserve.


The Value of Art Conservation

Ceramics unlike paintings and drawings that are often classed as “intangible” treasures, ceramics are much easier to move, which is why they are often considered to be more valuable and collectible.

Because ceramics are made of natural materials that are exposed to moisture and chemicals, their cracks and changes in their form can be found quite quickly. Being thrown or smashed into smaller pieces allows them to preserve their cracks over time. By doing this, they can keep their inherent value of ceramics and also their delicate natural qualities to give them the same value as the day they were made. So, in this case, preservation can be particularly important for ceramic art.


Why Art Conservation Is Necessary

Art conservation isn’t only about the artwork itself. It’s the restoration of the canvas, frame, interior, and even the wooden frame. Most paintings are naturally made from oil, acrylic, or gesso, which are all saturated with water. But some mediums, such as watercolor, dry pigment, gouache, and wax-resist, are made from synthetic materials. These are more vulnerable to humidity and have a shorter shelf life. So, in order to preserve these works, art conservators have to take special steps and efforts in order to maintain the original style of the artwork.

A lot of people who want to restore their artwork are worried about the condition of the original piece, but the reality is that many artworks have been restored before. In most cases, the restoration comes with its own challenges.


What You Should Consider Before Starting Your Conservation Process

The first step you should take before starting your restoration and conservation process is to acquire a reliable and trustworthy art conservation company that can provide you with answers to the essential questions that you might have.

The old adage is true: If you do not care for an object, you cannot expect it to preserve properly and remain in its original condition.

If you are not looking forward to taking care of an object, don’t! If you have a handyman at home, then there are plenty of great resources on the internet to turn to for help.

However, if you want to be absolutely certain that you can finish your job and will receive results that are close to your expectations, you should find an art conservation specialist.


Techniques for Art Conservation

It is important to work within the standards and practices of the country, region, or artist’s line of work.

Glossography – This is the term used for using a special chemical to improve the colors of an artwork and restore it back to its original color. This is usually a straightforward process and can often be completed in a couple of hours.

Cracks – Although this may not be as exciting as restoring color, cracking is still an important part of the overall restoration of an artwork. Once a crack has appeared, this is often irreversible and requires certain methods to repair the crack, which can range from chemical applications to more invasive surgeries to address. The first step in any restoration or conservation is to identify the defect or issue in the artwork.


Techniques for Paintings

To preserve paintings, the first thing you should consider is their state of ownership and condition. For example, there are a few aspects of the original painting you should think about before you decide on a conservation method. These are:

  • The state of the surface.
  • The state of the canvas.
  • The state of the materials used to create the painting.

Depending on the type of work and the composition of the artworks, the conservation technique can be decided based on the paint pigments. If the paint has lost its original color, the best course of action would be to apply new or archival paint pigments, such as enamel, oil, or natural colors. However, it is best to use the painting’s own pigments in this case, which could come in the form of pigments from the artist’s own personal collection.


Techniques for Wood-Based Objects

For wood-based objects, such as tables, vases, and so on, there are two ways to approach the conservation treatment. The first method, based on the artist’s original drawings, involves taking your original drawing or the original size image of your item and marking or drawing the object in line with its original proportions. You can also manually measure the object if you have that information, but this may take quite a lot of time.

This can be a time-consuming, methodical process that requires a lot of work. A different method is to use a digital image. Using this method, you will first create a digital image that matches the object’s dimensions and features. For example, if your table is approximately 4 feet in length, you will create a digital image that is 4 feet by 4 feet.


Techniques for Metals

Perhaps one of the most widely accepted methods to date in the art world is platinum and palladium-based techniques. Platinum is often used to preserve pre-20th century artworks because of its rich, deep color. When metal and painting come into contact, platinum, which has a high melting point, will always fuse with the metal under the layer of paint.

Once inside the body of the painting, the metallurgical bond between metal and oil produces a colored patina that helps to protect the work. Unfortunately, platinum is expensive, so many museums and private collectors are turning to palladium, which will protect both the painting and the frame.


Techniques for Textiles

Even though textiles are a form of art, often they are not as protected as other forms of art, such as paintings, sculptures, etchings, and photographs. Because these are used daily in daily life, the delicate techniques used to make the fabrics don’t often receive as much attention as some other types of art. Textiles, therefore, are often more easily damaged, but it is possible to repair them when damaged. If you want to repair textiles and have the necessary knowledge, you can turn to Artexpress for their art restoration services.


Materials for Textiles

Aside from any mechanical damage, you should also be careful in the materials you choose to use for your textile restoration.

Art conservation involves many aspects, and while it may appear complicated, it is actually quite easy to complete. What you need to be aware of before starting your art conservation project is that the artwork needs to be perfect, and it should be preserved for the long term.

Art conservation cannot be done in a short period of time, but if you plan your project well, you will be able to achieve your desired results with minimal or no disruption to the artwork.