The objects conservators of the Midwest Art Conservation Center have 30 years of professional experience providing examinations, treatments and care for the full range of archaeological, contemporary, ethnographic and historic art and artifacts. MACC object conservators are highly qualified to identify and treat the wide range of ancient, historic and contemporary artwork, indoor and outdoor sculpture, decorative art, and other 3-dimensional works. In addition to performing in-laboratory conservation treatments, the conservators also conduct object-by-object condition surveys of museum collections.
The needs of such a variety of artifacts are diverse, but the agents of deterioration are the same as in other conservation specialties: fluctuating temperature and relative humidity levels, stress caused by handling or other direct physical forces, exposure to radiation in the form of ultra violet and visible light, pests, and vandals all contribute to the degradation of materials over time. MACC conservators are adept at a wide range of treatments to combat these effects and to safeguard objects into the future.
Whether ancient or contemporary, objects can be made from a single material or a combination of materials such as wood, metal, ivory, bone, shell, ceramics, glass, plaster, or leather. Contemporary pieces can be made of plastic, living organisms, food, and modern synthetic materials. MACC objects conservators are also experienced in the treatment of frames, furniture, gilding lacquerware, weapons, and basketry. The conservation of objects requires a comprehensive knowledge of the chemistry and physics of organic and inorganic materials. Recognizing the causes of structural and cosmetic problems is an important part in determining the proper course of treatment for objects. It is essential to identify and understand the historical context through careful examination and research into materials, techniques, artist’s intent, and any prior interventions. MACC conservators understand these variables and are committed to providing treatments that are tailored specifically to each individual piece and adhere to the AIC Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.