Art on paper is the largest collection at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, spanning centuries and cultures. Located at the Legion of Honor museum, the paper conservation laboratory is responsible for the conservation, preservation, and study of close to 100,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and books. Caring for such a range of artworks presents unique challenges, from stabilizing flaking paint on Indian miniatures to devising the best way to display a 10 x 21 ft psychedelic billboard. We are dedicated to the exchange of knowledge and expertise. Through the technical study of materials and artists’ methods, as well as collaboration with curators, scientists, and artists, we work to share the experience of the maker with museum visitors. We are committed to supporting emerging conservators through training and have mentored generations of students since the lab’s founding in 1973.
Broadening Perspectives in the Care of Art
Understanding the less tangible aspects of an artwork, especially when it is created within a culture different than our own, requires incorporating varied viewpoints and experiences that museums have too often ignored.
By Tamia Anaya, Jena Hirschbein, and Jane Williams