Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is Conservation and Restoration the Same Thing?

Eric Hayden French Circuns from San Juan Puerto Rico asks, "Is Conservation and Restoration the same thing? Are you a practicing conservator?

Hi Eric,
Yes, I'm a practicing conservator.

"Restoration" is more a European term. In the US, the word "restoration" is limited to only making something look good (aesthetics) again. "Conservation" is a broader term that includes the processes of stabilizing and addressing issues of deterioration and preventing the conditions that cause damage (lighting, shipping, handling, RH, UV, IR etc).

Most professional art and object conservators (in the US) look down on the term "restorer" because it refers often to someone who is not ethically and professionally committed to the task of conservation and preservation besides restoration. However, restorer is a term that the public most readily recognizes so you will see professional conservators refer to the word "restorer" only for the benefit of the ignorant public.

That was wordy but I hope it answered your question.

We think that people are interested in what we do, so in addition to this blog, we keep a couple of Facebook pages to keep people entertained: check out "Fine Art Conservation", "Tips For Art Collectors" and "Save Your Stuff."

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