Celebrating Conservation and Collaboration

For nearly 70 years ICA - Art Conservation has provided significant conservation expertise and collections preservation services to organizations and individuals throughout the region and around the world. Support from The George Gund Foundation, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and the Ohio Arts Council in 2013 enabled ICA to create a unique online exhibition, The Silent Treatment: 60 Years of Collaboration in Art & Heritage Conservation to highlight the work that ICA conservators have contributed through the years since its founding in 1952 as the first regional nonprofit conservation center in North America. This new online feature, Conservation Stories, includes information from that original exhibition and will provide continuing documentation of select works of art and material culture conserved through the years by ICA conservators.

Recent News - ICA is Moving!

After nearly two decades in Cleveland's Hingetown neighborhood, ICA is moving to a new home. ICA's leadership has been increasingly aware of the need for additional conservation laboratory space for oversized objects and improved accessibility for our visitors, students, clients, and staff. We will be selling our beloved historic Vitrolite building at 2915 Detroit Avenue.


Glass and ceramics, metal objects and furniture, jewelry, and sculptures, everything that cannot obviously be primarily identified as a painting, textile, or work on paper falls under the objects category.


Although paintings on wood panels and canvas spring immediately to mind, paint can be applied to a wide variety of supports walls, paper, pressed board, cardboard, copper, ivory, glass, plaster, and stone. Pigments--the element that give paints their color--can be suspended in a variety of media including oil, acrylics, wax, egg tempera, glue (distemper), milk (casein), and plant gum (goache).


Textiles is an all-embracing term that describes a wide variety of materials and techniques. Textiles may be constructed from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, flax, and wool to regenerated or manufactured fibers such as rayon, nylon, and polyester. They can also be part of complex composite objects that incorporate other materials like paper, leather, glass, metals, paint, stone, horn, bone, shell and feathers.

ICA History

The Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA) was the first, full-service, non-profit art conservation center in the United States. The directors of five major Midwestern museums met in Buffalo, NY in late 1951 and the center was up and running on the campus of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio by the summer of 1952.