10 Art Conservation Transformations: Amazing Before and Afters
When you go to a museum or other place of exhibition, you may not realize how much work goes into preparing those objects for display. Many hours of assessment, planning and treatment go into conservation and restoration. All the hours are worth it when you get to the end and see just how far the piece has come. Here are 10 examples of some of the most dramatic transformations we’ve seen at our studio.
Sculpture Conservation Examples
This marble sculpture had multiple coatings of paint that created thick layers. The layers of paint were applied in an attempt to hide previously repaired areas of the sculpture but had started to flake over time. After much cleaning, the beauty was unveiled underneath.
On display outside of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., this monument had experienced weathering that resulted in its dark brown appearance changing to a light green. Dirt and algae had accumulated on the stone surfaces as well. With a little cleaning and wax treatments, the monument is back in optimal condition.
Abrasive cleanings caused the bright bronze substrate to be exposed, resulting in needing patination treatment. Two cold wax applications followed the patina treatments and the sculpture was buffed to finish.
Vehicle Conservation Examples
This revolutionary stagecoach is one of only a handful in existence. Layers of darkened varnishes were removed to bring the stagecoach back to life.
There was much to be done to conserve this historic chaise for long-term storage. Cleaning, textile conservation, replicating missing components, and more. The transformation is quite incredible.
Originally owned by Thomas Edison, this Detroit Electric is on display at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park at the Glenmont Estate. Fenders, lamps, battery hoods and more were removed for vehicle conservation before the car was put back together, looking much better than before.
Military Artifact Examples
Cracked and deteriorating wood was a major problem for this artifact. The metal also needed intensive conservation cleaning. After complicated molds were taken for the repair areas, a piece was created to fill the area of loss.
This military artifact was developed in the 1960s and was approved for production in 1970 with the first battalion activated in 1972. A custom cradle was designed to carry and hold the missile during conservation treatment. New paint and stenciling finished off the transformation,
Before attempting to repair the rips and tears of this bomber jacket, the surface was cleaned properly with special solutions. Areas of missing leather were filled and repaired. A mount was created for display. Looking at the after photo, it is amazing there was so much damage to the sleeve!
Furniture Conservation Example
10) Meier Clock
An unfortunate act of vandalism created much damage to this intricate Meier Clock. A broken clock face was one major area of repair. This clock conservation project was certainly an undertaking but resulted in looking like new.