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Art Conservator



Repair works of art so they can still be enjoyed for years to come.

What does an Art Conservator do?

Art conservators restore artwork in a way that increases its visual accessibility without damaging the integrity of the original work. This means that you patch up any dings or scratches in a piece of art in a manner that does not permanently change the piece.

The manner in which an art conservator repairs artwork is important in order to preserve pieces of historical and cultural importance. The care you take to preserve the original artwork helps avoid putting a historical fingerprint on the piece, so that later generations can view something as a 17th century sculpture, not a 17th century sculpture that was modernized in 2017.

The golden rule for art conservators is to alter the piece as little as possible: If you only need one drop of paint, don’t use two. Use materials with a goal minimizing of future problems— for example, you use reversible materials like watercolors and tints so your alterations can be removed without damage to the original piece. And document each move and brushstroke you make. These procedures are taken very seriously: There is even a code of ethics by which you work.

Your daily tasks vary depending on what type of art you work with, be it paintings, etchings, or electronic media, but in each case you’re working to preserve cultural heritage, not imprint your signature on a piece of art. If all this seems a bit over the top, check out the similar (but less persnickety) position of art restorer.

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