The art collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art constitutes the single greatest cultural asset of the state of North Carolina. More than anything else, the collection shapes the character and activities of the institution.
In support of the Museum’s mission to preserve the state’s collection, the Conservation Center is professionally staffed and organized to provide care, maintenance, and repair and restoration services for the priceless fine arts collection of the Museum. In addition the Center provides support to all the Museum’s departments for programs and activities that affect the collection. Conservators are responsible for the preventive care necessary to slow or arrest the deterioration of the collection. In the event of damage from accident or aging, the Museum’s conservators are uniquely qualified within the NCMA and the state to provide the conservation services necessary to stabilize an art object and restore its aesthetic integrity. All work done on the collection is governed by a code of ethics and standards of practice outlined by the American Institute for the Conservation of Artistic and Historic Works.
Much of the 3,400-square-foot Conservation Center is devoted to studio space for treating and examining paintings, frames, and other works of art. The remaining space contains offices, a research library/analytical area, a studio for photography and radiography, and a room for the temporary storage of works of art during treatment.
The Conservation Center has a strong history of using resources that promote the training of conservation professionals. An ongoing program of Kress Conservation Fellowships is devoted to the research and treatment of European masterworks. For many years the Center additionally has offered conservation graduate school internships, summer internships, and training for volunteers in preparation for attending a conservation training program.