Conservation of art works

Principles of conservation (need to know)
· Preservation – safeguards and protects art works, no direct intervention to the art work, climate control, appropriate packaging, appropriate display, controlling access.
· Conservation – some direct intervention to art works to stabilise it – chemical of physical – repairs are sympathetic to original using like materials, prevents further deterioration, procedures are reversible.
· Restoration- incorporates preservation and conservation, the aim is to make the art work appear undamaged or like new, restoration is ethically problematic.
Factors for safe storage and display
Too much light causes objects to deteriorate
Up to 50 lux for works on paper including photographs
Up to 200 lux for paintings in oil, acrylic and enamel
Up to 300 lux for objects of glass, ceramic and stone
UV light is associated with sunlight
Never display an artwork in direct sunlight
Up to 30 microwatts per lumen is acceptable for works on paper
Up to 75 microwatts per lumen for paintings
Variations in humidity may damage artworks
High humidity may cause mould to grow or metals to corrode
Low humidity may cause cracking and embrittling of organic materials
Recommended relative humidity level for museums is 55% (+/- 5%) or 50%-60%
High and low temperature and variations in temperature may damage artworks
Recommended temperature for museums in 21c (+/- 1c)
This temperature must be maintained 24/7
Artworks must not be placed near heating appliances
Insects are a common cause of damage to art works, especially in storage areas
They lay eggs which are tiny and resistant to fumigation
Good housekeeping is the best solution to this problem


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