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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 is composed of members from the United States and the international community and includes conservation professionals from historic sites, museums, private practice, and regional centers. The purpose of the PSG is to improve knowledge of all subjects relating to the conservation of paintings, to promote proficiency and skill in the practice of paintings conservation, and to disseminate related technical and professional information.

The wiki was originally 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 digital download through the AIC Online Store.

Disclaimer[edit | edit source]

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 2022-23[edit | edit source]

Elizabeth Robson, Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Fellow, Chrysler Museum of Art / Hampton University Museum

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

Rachel Childers, Assistant Paintings Conservator, Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Yeonjoo Kim, Conservator, Newark Museum of Art

Mary Gridley, Art Conservation Solutions, LLC, Long Island City, NY

Christina McLean, Assistant Conservator of Paintings, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada

Fiona T. Beckett, Assistant Professor, SUNY Buffalo State University

Contributing to the Wiki[edit | edit source]

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. Please visit the AIC-CC User Guidelines page for the history of the AIC Wiki and general guidelines, or see the PSG Wiki Contributor Guidelines and PSG Wiki FAQ for more specifics.

Questions or ideas for new content on the PSG Wiki should be directed to the Chief Editor, Elizabeth Robson (

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility[edit | edit source]

Supports[edit | edit source]

Cotton SEM from Raw Canvas page

Preparation Layers[edit | edit source]

Paint Layers[edit | edit source]


Paint Formulation

  • Media
    Cleavage from Condition Issues section on Cleavage
  • Pigments

Condition Issues

Varnishes and Surface Coatings[edit | edit source]

Compiler: Wendy Samet

Surface Phenomena[edit | edit source]

Fatty acids on oil paint from White Surface Hazes

Frames[edit | edit source]

Documentation[edit | edit source]

  • Examination Reports
  • Treatment Reports
  • Visual Records

Analytical Techniques[edit | edit source]

X-radiography of Vermeer.

Preventive Considerations[edit | edit source]

Storage[edit | edit source]

Shipping and Handling[edit | edit source]

Installation/Deinstallation and Exhibition[edit | edit source]

Conservation Treatments[edit | edit source]

Inpainting (from the Inpainting Catalogue Cover)
  • Consolidation
  • Facing
  • Filling
  • Fumigation
  • Humidification and Treating Canvas Deformations
  • Inpainting
  • Join Repair
  • Lining
  • Loose Lining/Cami Lining
  • Mold/Mildew Removal
  • Reforming
  • Relaxation of Distorted Paint
  • Stain Removal
  • Strip Lining
  • Surface Cleaning
  • Tear Mending
  • Transfers
  • Varnish Removal

Treatment Materials[edit | edit source]