The objects conservation laboratory is responsible for the treatment and preservation of three-dimensional artifacts from a variety of media. The laboratory is equipped to treat objects of ceramic, glass, metal, stone, plaster, and plastic, as well as organic materials such as wood, leather, basketry, fur, and feathers. From archaeological and ethnographic artifacts to furniture and decorative art objects, conservators stabilize pieces and bring them closer to their original appearance. Object treatments commonly include surface cleaning and consolidation, joining of breaks, filling and retouching of losses, and in the case of metalwork, corrosion removal and stabilization. The ICA objects department also specializes in the treatment of outdoor sculptures.

To view a regional map of additional ICA conservation projects, click here.

“Old King Cole” Moravian Tiles
Owner:  Cleveland Public Library
These mosaic tiles had previously been removed from a closed branch library, and had suffered damage during the de-installation process. They were brought to the ICA for repair and remounting. ICA objects conservation staff fit the broken tiles and mortar back together, and filled and retouched areas of loss. They attached the completed mosaic to a special backing material and constructed a shadow box frame for it. The frame will ensure that the mosaic can be displayed and taken down without damage in the future. View enlarged before and after images.

The objects department also offers the following services:

  • Removal of insect infestation in individual works
  • Construction or alteration of display mounts and storage containers
  • On-site projects and collection surveys
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