What Exactly is Art Conservation? Many know peripherally what art conservation is, but rarely take a peek into the field to really explore why it's important and how it adds to your daily lives. Here, we will examine what art conservation is, and why art conservation is a highly regarded profession. Art Conservation Defined Art conservation is the profession that is dedicated to preserving the cultural gems of the world today, for the enjoyment of future generations. Can you imagine Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa disintegrating before your eyes? Or, van Gogh's The Starry Night being destroyed due to pollution? Or Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon ceasing to exist due to extreme light? Art conservationists prevent all of these things from happening to the world's most precious cultural treasures, as well as your family heirlooms. Art Conservation: The World's Most Precious Cultural Treasures are Always in Danger Cultural treasures like the ones mentioned above are in constant danger from naturally occurring environmental factors like extreme heat and cold, humidity, chemical pollutants and excessive light, to name a few. Furthermore, there are man-made threats, eg, accidental damage and poor handling practices. Art conservationists are trained professionals who know to not only prevent environmental factors from destroying these priceless gems, but who know how to handle them to prevent even accidental damage. Why Art Conservation Is a Highly Regarded Profession Art conservation is a highly regarded profession for the following reasons: Ruled by Ethics: Art conservationists have an applied ethics standard that they must adhere to. These ethical standards have been adopted worldwide, with written guidelines established nationally and internationally across many spectrums of the art world. For example, there are codes of ethics that apply to museums, art conservators, institutions that borrow art for exhibition, etc. To learn more about applied ethics as they relate to art conservation, visit Art- Care.com. Many Areas of Specialty: Art conservation is not a one-dimensional profession, which makes it so exciting. If you have a passion for all things old and want to carve out a career as an art conservationist, there's a niche for you. Careers in Art Conservation Some of the niches in art conservation are as follows: Photograph Conservation: This is the study of how to preserve photographic material. In this discipline, you are required to know how photographs are developed and how to prevent their deterioration. Furniture Conservation: The perfect career for a lover of antique furniture. Textile Conservation: Have an interest in preserving old quilts, wall hangings and other textile art for years gone past? Textile conservation is a rewarding career for you. These niches are just the tip of the iceberg. Some others to consider are book and paper conservation, digital object conservation, frame conservation and more. When most think of art conservation, they think of paintings by masters like the ones mentioned above. However, the field is rich and varied, and offers a host of exciting careers for anyone interested in preserving the past for the future. Have old oil paintings, pastels, prints, photographs, furniture and/or jewelry sitting around? You could be sitting on a fortune and not know it. Art-Care.com is a community of art conservators, art appraisers and other art professionals. Find an expert, industry-certified art appraiser to tell you its value at Art-Care.com. We provide an extensive list of highly regarded professionals in many fields - all for free.