Conservation

Art and science are sometimes seen as opposites but they come together in the Conservation Center at LACMA. In on-site laboratories, teams of specialists examine and treat works of art, using sophisticated technology. LACMA's Conservation Center was established in 1967, two years after the museum opened. The center has grown to encompass six areas of conservation expertise: paintings, textiles, paper, objects, collections management, and research. 

Damascus Room

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This video covers the recent and more distant history of an eighteenth-century period room and its remarkable journey from Damascus to Los Angeles. It documents a four-year long process of study and conservation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Now restored, the room exudes a kind of grace, warmth and beauty, which is in keeping with its original function as a place for welcoming guests.

LACMA conservators talk about ongoing restoration work at Watts Towers.


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These monumental golden gates are thought to be one set of a pair, created by Alexis Timothy Ishchenko, commissioned by Catherine the Great for a Russian Orthodox monastery in Kiev. LACMA conservator John Hirx reveals how this elaborate work of gilded silver was constructed.


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In 2007 LACMA acquired a group of six paintings by the Mexican painter Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz. When LACMA acquired the works they were covered with a yellow varnish layer that obscured the contrast and tonality of the original colors and flattened the perspective. Once removed, the illusion of space and depth returned, revealing the work of a thoughtful and highly skilled artist. This video documents the process of conserving Morlete's pictures.

—Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, LACMA.


Read more about conservation projects in Latin American Art on Unframed:

Restoring LACMA’s New Vicente Albán Paintings from Ecuador...


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Conservator Joe Fronek discusses the restoration of John Singleton Copley's painting Portrait of a Lady.


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In 2007 LACMA acquired a group of six paintings by the Mexican painter Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz. When LACMA acquired the works they were covered with a yellow varnish layer that obscured the contrast and tonality of the original colors and flattened the perspective. Once removed, the illusion of space and depth returned, revealing the work of a thoughtful and highly skilled artist. This video documents the process of conserving Morlete's pictures.—Ilona Katzew, Curator of Latin American Art, LACMA


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Conservator Don Menveg (LACMA) talks about the conservation of the Inlaid Panel.


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From September 2010 to August 2011 visitors were able to observe the conservation of a large eighteenth-century Korean Buddhist painting, Buddha Seokamoni (Shakyamuni) Preaching to the Assembly on Vulture Peak. Work on this delicate painting on silk is taking place in public view, in the newly-installed Korean Art galleries in the Hammer Building at LACMA.


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