We are painting conservators. This means we care for all types of paintings: paint on walls, metal, wood, stone, and what people most often think of…canvas. By caring for paintings, we can remove years of dirt and grime, as well as materials applied in previous efforts to disguise the effects of time. More importantly, we also serve as advocates for the artworks: allowing them to age gracefully, stay true to the artist intent, and advocate for their care which ensures the objects survival. We are just one generation, among many, who have and will serve as caretakers of our collective cultural heritage. While it is fun to do this type of work -we get to touch the art!-, it is a privilege to see how an artist continues to create a painting, like shifting hand placement, until it meets their final vision. Conservation is a job that allows you to be curious and solve puzzles with your hands every day. The painting cannot tell us what is wrong- rather we must diagnose the issue and find a treatment the object will tolerate. We are obliged to adapt our methods, through our training in science, art history, and studio art, to meet the painting’s needs and reach a favorable outcome.
We are so fortunate to genuinely love what we do for work. Every day is different- from the activities that we do, to the people we meet, and the places and objects we see along the way. There is something deeply satisfying about seeing you were able to stabilize a piece to survive for another generation to appreciate. It is an honor and humbling to care for our cultural heritage. While the weight of that privilege can be daunting at times, ultimately you find a way to live with it and not allow it to paralyze you into inaction.
We are thrilled to be part of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel’s restoration. The building and its interiors are an iconic landmark in New York City. Many have made important, long-lasting memories within the building. The murals are in numerous historic photos featuring presidents and celebrities, but also countless people’s families. We hope our efforts allow the paintings to look their best for many more generation’s historic moments, special occasions, and family memories. Our studio has a long history of caring for New York City’s most recognizable public interior murals. We are excited to add the Waldorf Astoria Hotel into ArtCare Conservation’s company heritage as well.