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Art Conservation Clinic Brings In Unexpected Treasures

Posted: September 20, 2012

Faculty members from the Art Conservation Department will offer their expertise on the conservation of everything from paintings to rare books to decorative arts during a one-day clinic on Friday, September 21.

Between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. individuals who have made an appointment can visit the clinic on the second floor of Rockwell Hall. Art conservation faculty, along with first- and second-year graduate students will examine the pieces and determine if conservation is required and if the projects are appropriate for graduate students.

The clinic is a service the department has offered to its Buffalo State colleagues and the Western New York community, including museums, libraries, and private collectors, for more than 20 years. The conservation projects cost the patrons much less than they would pay a private conservator.

"It could be ceramics, glass, or a print from modern times or the fifteenth century. We don’t exclude anything," said Patrick Ravines, director of art conservation. The only caveat, he noted, is the projects can take up to two years to complete. 

"We tell people up front," Ravines said. "If they have a problem with that, we give them a list of local conservators. Some live as far away as Syracuse and Jamestown, and they can take the work there."

Meredeth Lavelle, art conservation program manager, said from year to year, they never know what projects to expect. This year, the pieces reserved for inspection include an eighteenth-century oil painting, a rare tapestry, and a Tiffany lamp.

"It’s always a fun day," Lavelle said.

There are only a few slots still available, and those are for paper restoration only. Appointments are made on a first-come, first-served basis at (716) 878-5025.

The Buffalo State College Art Conservation Department is one of the leading programs of its kind in North America. Accepting only 10 students a year, the competitive three-year graduate program trains conservators of fine art and material cultural heritage. Graduates can be found in the conservation labs of major institutions across the United States, including the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; and the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Art Conservation Department

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Rockwell Hall 230 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5025 •  Fax: (716) 878-5039