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conservation & restoration

In addition to connecting our buyers with powerful art, Stanek Gallery provides conservation and restoration services. Consultations are free and we work on artwork by any artist - not just our gallery artists' work.

What is a conservation vs. restoration?

In the art world, conservation is the practice of prolonging the life of an artist's work. This can be removing harmful substances, giving the work a general clean, or advising you on best care practices on topics such as lighting, framing, hanging hardware, and location of the work.

Restoration is the act of 'fixing' a damaged or severely damaged object. For example, perhaps a painting was scratched, or a sculpture was chipped in a move, we can help get the object in question looking good as new. Accidents happen and we understand. Stanek Gallery is proud to offer a safe judgement-free environment to help our community share and appreciate art.

We offer services on certain paper documents, oil and acrylic paintings on various substrates, gilded objects, pastel and graphite drawings, non-functional ceramics, and mixed media works.

How does it work?

Step 1: Consultation

Consultations are always free! Schedule a time to bring in what you'd like us to restore or conserve. Our resident conservator/restoration expert will take a look and talk you through your options.

Step 2: Treatment Plan

We agree on a course of action that suits your needs and budget. We will be clear and realistic about what you can expect. Some works can be fully restored while others cannot.

Step 3: Pick Up

Once the restoration and/or conservation process is complete in accordance with the treatment plan, we will reach out to let you know. Payment before or upon completion is required.

Types of restoration

Visual restoration

Purely visual restoration entails an aesthetic remedy to physical or structural damage. For example, if there is an area of loss on a graphite drawing where an abrasion has 'erased' part of the works composition, we will fill in the loss using graphite in the style of the original artist. The drawing will look as new and any structural damage from the abrasion will remain.

Physical restoration

Physical restoration offers reinforcement to areas of damage or loss. For example, if a painting on canvas has a hole in it, we will add canvas to the work.  In this instance, the painting leaves our care stronger than it arrived. The patch can then be manipulated to match the original area's color and texture if desired.

Museum-grade restoration

Looking to restore a high value work without compromising its authenticity? In museum-grade restoration, we use special materials that can be safely removed without effecting the original work in any way. While some institutions believe restoration improves the value of a damaged work, others believe it dilutes the works authenticity. For example, if we restore a missing figure to a damaged painting using MSA or PVA conservation paints, that figure can be removed at a later date so only the original artists figures remain - ensuring every brushstroke is that of the piece's accredited artist.

Do a before and after with a painting from a thrift store - really beat it up and then restore half of it

Services start at $200/hr. Additional costs for special order materials may apply. Payment must be received before object is returned to owner.

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