American Conservation Consortium
Nationwide Collections Preservation Services
American Conservation Consortium is one of only two or three firms in the country that specialize in conservation of horse-drawn vehicles. Our focus is to preserve the original structural and decorative components of these important historic objects. We offer the following conservation services for coaches, agricultural equipment, carriages, sleighs and similar objects:
Traditional restoration of horse-drawn vehicles has consisted mostly of repainting surfaces and remanufacturing components to produce a new-looking object. This approach is fraught with limitations.
The painted and decorative surfaces are a significant component of a vehicle
and represent much of its visual impact. A vehicle that has lost these surfaces
is little more than a reproduction, a shell empty of history. Fewer and fewer
original surfaces exist due to over-restoration and we are in risk of losing
this important part of our cultural heritage.
Conservation to the Rescue
Normally, original surfaces can be stabilized, preserved, and brought to a presentation appearance that is far more beautiful and accurate than a restored object. The scholarship, analytical capabilities, and technical ability exist to allow sensitive, ethical treatments of horse-drawn vehicles. This expertise has not developed within the carriage restoration field, but rather is part of the fine and decorative arts conservation professions.
This relatively new application of conservation technology to horse-drawn vehicles follows a progression that has occurred for other types of objects as well. Originally, conservation efforts grew out of a dissatisfaction with traditional restoration of paintings and fine art prints. In the 1920's, laboratories were established at several museums to pool the skills and knowledge of scientists, curators, scholars and restorers in the preservation of original fine art surfaces. The new breed of professionals blending of these skills were called conservators. By the 1960's, society's view of furniture, textiles, metalware and other decorative arts objects had changed to include them as important historic and cultural artifacts, not just utilitarian items. As such, they were considered worthy of the same quality of conservation treatment afforded to paintings. Today, these wide-spread attitudinal changes are reaching to horse-drawn vehicles, industrial machinery and automobiles. Conservation can help preserve the original components, surfaces, and integrity of these historic artifacts in many ways.
Neglect of horse-drawn vehicles, in consort with over-restoration, is
threatening the survival of these wonderful ties with our past. It would be a
tragedy for history to loose the contributions of these skilled artists and
artisans. Conservation can help save the original surfaces of a vehicle,
maintaining or increasing its value, while at the same time preserving an
important part of our cultural patrimony.
American Conservation Consortium, Ltd.
American Conservation Consortium provides a full range of conservation treatments for your horse-drawn vehicle. Our staff is highly trained in conservation of historic surfaces and maintains a rigorous proficiency of the most recent developments in the profession.
Marc A. Williams, President, received his Masters of Science Degree from the Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware Art Conservation Program. He has served as Chief Wooden Object Conservator at the Smithsonian Institution's Conservation Analytical Laboratory, as well as Director of the Smithsonian's post-graduate Furniture Conservation Training Program.
American Conservation Consortium has been chosen to provide sensitive, ethical treatments by curators and directors of:
American Conservation Consortium. Ltd.
4 Rockville Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016, 860-386-6058, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2008, American Conservation
Consortium, Ltd., all rights reserved