The Paintings Department is the oldest and largest department at WACC, with the capacity to conserve paint-based artworks regardless of age, size, medium, or condition.
Staff conservators are skilled in treatments ranging from surface cleaning to paint-layer stabilization to the complete restoration of damaged artworks. The lab is expert in the full range of materials and techniques, including:
- egg tempera
- traditional and modern oil-based paint
- acrylics and water-based paint
- panel and fabric supports
- wall murals and frescoes
- theatrical stage backdrops
- reverse painted glass
- the diverse challenges of contemporary artworks
Conservators consult closely with curators and collectors on special challenges and augment professional expertise with scholarly research, analytic imaging, and scientific analysis. WACC has prepared paintings for exhibition in major museums in America and Europe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Musée d'Orsay, and Museo del Prado. The department works with institutions to perform condition assessments for individual paintings or entire collections. Such assessments become a vital resource for collections care, loan and travel requests, and grant applications. Paintings conservators regularly collaborate with other WACC departments on projects that require multiple specialties.
Eugene-Louis Boudin, Beach Scene in Trouville, before and after cleaning. (Private collection.)