Making the Invisible Visible Conservation and Islamic Art

Since its founding, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has been committed to the care and technical study of artworks in its collections.

Art Exhibition previously on at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, United States.
From Tuesday 02 April 2013 to Sunday 04 August 2013

Making the Invisible Visible
Conservation and Islamic Art image

Published by anonymous on Monday 29 July 2013.
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Museum staff played a pivotal role in transforming the craft of art restoration and repair into the profession of art conservation, which is based on modern advances in the material sciences. In the early 1960s a committee headed by Murray Pease, the first person to hold the title of conservator at the Museum, wrote a set of ethical and professional guidelines for the American Group of the International Institute for Conservation that continues to guide conservators today. These guidelines state that testing and treatment should only be undertaken for “the preservation of the aesthetic, conceptual, and physical characteristics of artwork.” As a result, examination techniques requiring little or no samples are employed before any treatment is undertaken, and minimal treatments are performed using materials that will not deteriorate, which was not always true of past restorations. Considerable attention is also given to the environments in which works are displayed, from the mounting and design of the exhibition casework to the light, temperature, and humidity levels in the galleries.

Conservators and conservation scientists made many exciting and interesting discoveries as they and the curators re-examined the Museum’s collection of Islamic art prior to the reopening of the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia in November 2011. This exhibition and the accompanying lectures and gallery talks present some of their most interesting discoveries.