The paintings laboratory occupies two spacious rooms with adjacent storage areas for the over 50 paintings in treatment, or awaiting treatment, each year. A wide variety of canvas and panel paintings is treated in the laboratory, as well as paintings on more unusual supports such as copper, tinned iron, rawhide, cardboard or Masonite.
The labs are equipped with two state-of-the-art large vacuum hot tables, two custom-designed suction tables, a walk-in spray booth, easels, table and floor-standing Wild microscopes, numerous vapor extraction trunks that access the work stations around the large work tables, and a Macintosh computer.
The laboratory is well supplied with modern and historical pigments and resins, racks loaded with rolled conservation materials, and a comprehensive range of solvents. Many specialized smaller electric conservation tools (Engelbrecht radiant heat tool, Leister-labor hot air gun, Willard heated spatula, and others), and a wide selection of hand tools are also available for use.
In addition to these conservation materials, the laboratory is well fitted with supplies and tools used in gilding and other traditional painting techniques. As part of their first year of training, each student produces several paintings using historical methods. This important exercise provides students with valuable, in-depth experience with major historic painting technologies such as gilded tempera, traditional oil, and fresco.
During their years of study, students are trained in the operation of all equipment and the use of materials. Once practiced in their application, they are encouraged to work independently. Teaching in the studio emphasizes direct, hands-on involvement of the student in all aspects of the structural, cosmetic, and finishing procedures used in the conservation of paintings.