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Welcome to the Paintings Conservation Wiki

The Paintings Specialty Group (PSG) of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) welcomes you to the Paintings Conservation Wiki page. The Paintings Specialty Group was formed in 1980 and currently numbers 658 members who treat everything from from ancient Egyptian portraits to contemporary art.

The goal of the PSG Paintings Conservation Wiki is to share information and to host articles and research on the broad range of materials and topics encountered in the conservation of paintings.The PSG wiki welcomes members' contributions, and encourages participation! Follow these links for information on the AIC-CC User Guidelines and on how to contribute to the wiki. Questions, ideas for new entries, or concerns about the content of the PSG wiki should be directed to the PSG Chief Wiki Editor, Kari Rayner ([email protected]).

The wiki is structured according to the outline of existing and proposed chapters of the Painting Conservation Catalog (1998-present). The wiki is a growing, evolving source of information and, as such, the content, including sections of the extant Painting Conservation Catalog chapters, will continue to evolve on the wiki. The published chapters in their unaltered form are available for purchase at the AIC Online Store. The Painting Conservation Catalog project continues in parallel with the wiki; for information on how to contribute to an upcoming Chapter, please contact Judy Dion ([email protected]).

Although supported and monitored by the PSG, the information presented on the Paintings Conservation Wiki is the opinion of the contributors and does not imply endorsement or approval, or recommendation of any treatments, methods, or techniques described. This information is intended to be used by conservators, museum professionals, and members of the public for educational purposes only. It is not designed to substitute for the consultation of a trained conservator. To find a conservator, please visit AIC's Find a Conservator page.

Wiki Committee

Kari Rayner, Associate Conservator of Paintings, The J. Paul Getty Museum

Erin B. Stephenson, Paintings Conservator, Stephenson Art Conservation, Washington, D.C.

Claire Winfield, Paintings Conservator, New Orleans

Anne Schaffer, Paintings Conservator, AS Art Conservation, Baltimore, MD

Christine Gostowski, Associate Painting Conservator, Kuniej Berry Associates, Chicago

Julie Ribits, Paintings Conservator, Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University

Josh Summer, Assistant Paintings Conservator, Brooklyn Museum

Elise Effmann Clifford Head of Paintings Conservation, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Varnishes and Surface Coatings (1998)

Compiler: Wendy Samet

Stretchers and Strainers

Compiler: Barbara A. Buckley


Compiler: Catherine A. Metzger Co-Compilers: Christopher Maines and Joanna Dunn


Paint Layer

Surface Issues

Fabric Supports: Structural Damage and Deformation Treatment

Wood Panel Supports


Special Problems of Modern Paintings

Environmental Control

Other Painting Supports

Analytical Techniques



Wall Paintings

Treatment Materials