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Technical Art History at the University of Delaware

The University of Delware’s Technical Art History department considers questions such as – How do conservators use X-rays and black lights to learn about paintings? How is gold leaf applied? Why were some pigments worth small fortunes?

This site also includes lesson plans for educators and excellent resources for scholars.

Visit the website.


The Salon Doré

For a year and a half, curators, conservators, and architects worked to reinstall an extraordinary 18th-century period room – the Salon Doré. From hand-carving and gilding to 3D printing, see the project’s progress through videos, blog posts, and animations.

Visit the Legion of Honor’s website.


Jackson Pollock’s Mural

Curators and conservation scientists from the J. Paul Getty Museum explore different aspects of Jackson Pollock’s Mural through this video series. What kind of paint did he use? How did it drip, pour and splash?

See it on YouTube.


Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day

Watch conservator Faye Wrubel methodically remove yellowed varnish from the surface of Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day in the conservation studio at the Art Institute Chicago.

Visit The Art Institute of Chicago’s website.


Pigments through the Ages

From prehistory to the present, tempera to pastel, this site offers a rich compendium of information about the history of color, pigment, and the process of painting.

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Conservation at the Smithsonian

At the Lunder Conservation Center in Washington, D.C., floor to ceiling windows let visitors observe conservators in action. Online, you can see the radical difference between objects before and after treatment. This site includes not only paintings and drawings, but frames, chairs, and photographs.

Visit the website.

Henri Matisse’s The Swimming Pool

By 1993, the cutouts in The Swimming Pool by Henri Matisse were so deeply stained and darkened that they could no longer be displayed. A team of MoMA conservators brought this room-sized drawing back to its original appearance. For more MoMA conservation, check out #MoMAconservation on Instagram and Twitter.

Visit MoMA’s website.


Conservation at The Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum’s tumblr of their conservation projects covers a wide range of objects, cultures, and time periods, showing how frequently conservators must come up with creative solutions. For more Brooklyn Museum conservation, check out #bkmconservation on Instagram and Twitter.

Visit the Tumblr.


Conservation in Action: Juno

Through a series of blogs, follow the installation and conservation of a Roman statue of Juno at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For more conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, check out #mfaconservation on Instagram and Twitter.

Visit the blog.


Penn Museum: The Artifact Lab

The Artifact Lab blog from the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Museum discusses many different conservation projects, especially focusing on the archaeological and ancient artworks in the museum’s collection.

Visit the blog.