Conservation is a field devoted to preserving cultural, natural history, and art materials for future generations. Long-term preservation of these materials is achieved through research, documentation, treatment, and preventive care. These activities require knowledge and skills acquired from a range of disciplines, so conservators often have backgrounds in chemistry, biology, art history, anthropology, and fine art. Conservators specialize in a particular type of object or material, such as paintings, sculpture, works of art on paper, textiles, furniture, archaeological, or ethnographic objects.
Conservators at the Natural History Museum are responsible for the care and preservation of the Museum's diverse collections, ranging from ancient Latin American ceramics to Hollywood costumes to ornithological specimens. The Conservation Department specializes in objects conservation and serves all of the Museum's collections including History, Anthropology, and the natural sciences. Daily activities include assessing and documenting the condition of objects, treating objects when necessary to stabilize them, rehousing objects to better protect them, and monitoring the museum environment to ensure that conditions are safe for the collections. Learn more>