Condition assessments are used to determine the condition of an object, piece of art, or cultural heritage piece before completing any treatment. It is the first step in our conservation cycle.
How are condition assessments completed?
Before any treatment or maintenance plans can be made, we need to know what we are starting with. The first phase of most projects begins with a careful examination of the piece or collection. This process is typically referred to as a condition assessment. A condition assessment consists of one or more conservators thoroughly studying the piece and looking for areas of weakness, damage, cracks, flaking paint, mold, or anything else that could be a cause for concern. They will also identify what materials are used in the piece, what components are original and what has been replaced, as well as any other significant identifying marks. From this assessment, a basic treatment plan can typically be created that explains what steps would need to be taken in order to correct areas of damage and preserve the current condition of stable areas.
Condition assessments can be completed for:
Full collection assessments for museums or historical societies
Individual pieces in need of care
Public art collections or specific public art pieces