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State of The Art: Revealing Works From The Conservation Vault


This exhibition opens the “conservation vault” to give visitors a glimpse of works of art that largely have been out of sight in storage for, in some cases, decades. The works include paintings, sculpture, metalwork, textiles, and paper and range in date from the 1500s to the 1990s. All of them are in need of conservation—specialized treatment that will allow them to return to view in the galleries in improved condition. 

A work of art—like a person—changes as it ages. Varnishes and adhesives can become yellow and brittle, cracks may appear, surfaces may fade or tarnish, and materials can begin to fall apart. Conservators work to identify any problems and perform treatments to improve the condition of the art. Treatment needed for works in this exhibition includes examination and research, analytical testing, cleaning, repair, and preventive or maintenance care. Some of these treatments may result in dramatic changes in appearance; others may be more subtle. All will extend the longevity of the art for the enjoyment of museumgoers far into the future.

Learn about some of the inherent condition problems that works of art face and the crucial role that art conservators play in keeping the Museum’s collection safe and looking its best. View details around the "Adopt an Artwork" program below.



State of the Art: Revealing Works from the Conservation Vault is organized by the Toledo Museum of Art and curated by Andrea Gardner, senior director of collections and curatorial affairs. This exhibition is sponsored locally by season sponsor ProMedica and presenting sponsors Susan and Tom Palmer, with additional support from Taylor Automotive and Bill and Cathy Carroll. The show is also made possible in part by the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). 


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