Artifacts Conservator

Rebuild old relics and protect them from further damage.

What does an Artifacts Conservator do?

The Artifacts Conservator repairs and preserves artifacts. You are the “Artifact Whisperer” who connects with the artifact and helps it to tell its story. Most Artifacts Conservators work for museums, but you might also work freelance.

As Artifacts Conservator, your focus is on preserving original features through mediums that are reversible so no permanent changes are made. This means that you use your art, history, and science education to improve the overall look of a piece without making permanent changes (after all, you’re trying to preserve history, not rewrite it).

The process of preserving a piece starts with a careful examination. X-rays, microscopes and other specialized equipment help you discover the age and material make-up of the piece.

Through this process, you decide the best way to repair and preserve it. Preservation includes using techniques that protect the artifact against further deterioration from the elements of water, heat, and light. Once you’ve finished a piece, you ensure the artifact’s continued safety by understanding and documenting how to handle, store, and display it.

Artifacts Conservation is a specialized field, which requires a unique skill set. You are familiar with all types of materials and the effects of chemicals on each of them. You understand biology and physiology, and have an artistic hand. Your discipline and attention to detail are put to the test as you evaluate and clean the item, document any changes, and add final touches.