The conservation and care of works of art is fundamental to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s mission to provide its community and region with high quality exhibitions, programs, education and outreach. The FAMSF conservation department was founded in 1972 to support the preservation, study, and treatment of objects, paintings, paper, and textiles. The conservation department continues to be devoted to the needs of the wide-ranging collections, educational programs, and exhibitions.
The diverse responsibilities of the Museums’ conservators include the examination, documentation, preservation, treatment, and research of artworks in the FAMSF collection. Conservators advise curators on the condition of proposed acquisitions and collections that will be exhibited. They inspect the condition of incoming and outgoing loans to the museum including those in exhibitions. Conservators keep a close eye on the climate within the galleries and storage to control environmental conditions, pest issues, and earthquake safety measures.
Objects, paintings, and textiles conservation each have separate laboratories at the de Young, which reopened in its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in 2005. Paper conservation is located at the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park and has a laboratory designed during the 1995 seismic retrofitting of the building.
Learn more about conservation through the American Institute for Conservation
- Find out how to care for your own treasures
- Locate a conservator in your area
- Learn about how to become a conservator