American Conservation Consortium

Nationwide Collections Preservation Services
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Furniture and Objects
Horse-Drawn Vehicles
Architectural Features

 

Flaking original paint on chair.

Conservation Treatment Services Offered

Fungally degraded wagon wheel.

Conservation is much more than repair or restoration of damaged objects. It transcends band-aid approaches to deterioration. Conservation is an interdisciplinary profession which combines elements of science, technology, art history, artistry, scholarship, and a strong ethical code to provide a comprehensive method of caring for historic objects.  Its goal is to prevent deterioration rather than treat it after it has occurred.  However, various factors conspire to require treatment of historic objects.  Anyone who has marveled at the intricate detail of an inlaid Hepplewhite sideboard or admired the fine decoration of a Concord coach understands the importance of preserving these objects which link all of us to the past.

bulletFurniture and Wooden Object Conservation:  a comprehensive scope of furniture and wooden object treatment services. These range from sensitive cleaning of surfaces to minimal-intervention stabilization to structural solidification to replacement of missing parts. Material types include finishes, paint, gilding, veneer, marquetry, hardware, and upholstery, as well as wood joinery treatment.
 
bulletConservation of Horse-Drawn Vehicles: structural solidification and rebuilding; consolidation and reattachment of flaking paint and varnish; removal of over-paint and over-varnishes; in-painting of losses; application of removable protective coatings; repainting if necessary with historically-appropriate and reversible materials and techniques. Treatment of attachments: minimally invasive upholstery treatment; cleaning, polishing and protective coating of metals; leather treatment; gilding conservation; treatment of other materials associated with horse-drawn vehicles.
 
bulletArchitectural Features Conservation: treatment of wooden interior decorative architectural elements, including paneling, moldings, carvings, stairways, floors and other decorative elements.  Also, we offer a uniquely developed system for stabilizing historic plaster.
 
bulletConservation Assessments: establish general recommendations for preservation of the collections as a whole and identify institution-wide needs. Specific areas of emphasis are stabilization of the environment, storage and display, and proper maintenance procedures.
 
bulletCollection Surveys: assess briefly the condition of each object in a collection and allow development of a prioritized long-range conservation plan. Normally, these follow a Conservation Assessment.
 
bulletCondition Reports and Proposed Treatments: outline in detail existing deterioration and suggest methods and materials for conservation treatment of individual objects.  This includes second opinions of treatment strategies developed by other conservators.
 
bulletAffiliates: provide conservation treatments of object and material types other than wood, architectural assessments, and museum management and administration consultation, allowing clients to streamline and simplify the procurement of conservation and collection-related services by eliminating the administrative burden of identifying, verifying and contracting with numerous independent specialists.
 

Customized Preservation and Treatment

Even under the best of circumstances, some degradation of valued historic items is unavoidable. Comprehensive preservation and treatment programs, therefore, are critical to the maintenance of a collection, regardless of its size.  No two objects are the same.  All vary at least slightly in their design, materials and condition.  Different areas of an object or materials will have deteriorated to differing degrees.  Thus, the treatment program for each object must be customized.  In order to provide the best care, the conservator must personally examine the object.

A common misunderstanding about treatment is that there is one right approach for a given object. American Conservation Consortium will suggest options that provide the best possible care, based upon the factors specific to each case. The environmental conditions, needs of the owner, use of the object, aesthetics and economics are all considerations when designing a customized treatment program.
 

Support and Availability

Most modern professional conservation services are available only at larger museums for the exclusive benefit of their own collections. In the past, other institutions and private collectors have had to utilize local restorers and craftspersons. American Conservation Consortium's modular facilities, allowing in- situ services, and custom-designed treatment laboratory bring state-of- the-art conservation support to institutions and private collections throughout North America.  In addition,

Curators and Directors from the White House, the National Gallery of Art, Mount Vernon, Monticello, various properties of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the New Hampshire Historical Society, and the Bennington Museum, as well as other state and local historical agencies, have entrusted their collection items to American Conservation Consortium.

American Conservation Consortium is dedicated to providing quality service, in a timely fashion. Survey reports normally are provided within a week of the site visit. Treatments are begun shortly after receiving the object. And, of course, all treatments are prefaced by a written Condition Report and Proposed Treatment subject to client approval. Treatments scrupulously emphasize maximum preservation of original and historically important component materials of an object, and follow the American Institute for Conservation's Code of Ethics.

As part of providing foremost conservation support, all services of American Conservation Consortium are administered from a centralized office, increasing efficiency and quality control. We would be pleased to assist you with your needs, be they a single family heirloom or an entire collection.

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American Conservation Consortium. Ltd.

4 Rockville Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016, 860-386-6058, acc@conservator.com

Copyright 2008, American Conservation Consortium, Ltd., all rights reserved