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Conservation Services - ICA

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Conservation Services: Expertise & Care

ICA – Art Conservation is the oldest not-for-profit regional art conservation center in the United States. For nearly seventy years, ICA conservators have cleaned, repaired, and cared for works of art and objects of cultural heritage and personal significance. We have professionally-educated and trained conservators with expertise in paintings, objects, and textiles.


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 in 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.


The paintings conservation department examines and treats wide range of paintings, from European and American Old Masters to contemporary works created using non-traditional materials and techniques. Painting supports can be wood, canvas, metal, or board and media can range from egg tempera to oil to acrylic to encaustic. The department is equipped to take ultraviolet and infrared images to aid in understanding artists’ techniques and condition issues. The department has particular expertise in treating oversized murals, either in situ or at the ICA. Paintings conservators can also carry out on-site surveys and assessments of collections.  If you are a collections steward or painting conservator looking for information about Cadmium corrosion on ICA spring stretchers you can download an informational pdf here.


The textile conservation department works on objects as varied as samplers, quilts, flags, costumes, dolls, and contemporary fiber art pieces. The textile conservator also collaborates with other ICA conservators on the textile component of painted banners, upholstered furnishings, or Asian scrolls.

Works On Paper

The paper conservation laboratory is designed and equipped for the treatment and preservation of paper-based materials including drawings, watercolors, prints, and illuminated manuscripts. In addition to fine art paper and media,  paper conservators treat archival materials such as documents, maps, photographs, and books. Oversize pieces, contemporary art, three-dimensional paper objects, works on parchment, and mixed media pieces are also treated. Paper conservators can also carry out on-site projects and assessment of collections as requested.

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