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How I Look at Art as a Conservator


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Panel paintings workshop participants visiting the Uffizi Gallery in late 2013. Photo: Aleksandra Hola

As a conservator passionate about the structural treatment of old master paintings, I probably see something different than the average viewer when I look at paintings, in particular if they are panels.

In addition to admiring the artwork, I have been trained to understand its materials. Knowing how to conserve paintings is as much about the history of the artwork as it is about consulting the current cohort of peers who may often be thousands of miles away. My recent participation in residencies and trainings supported by the Getty Foundation through its Panel Paintings Initiative provided the opportunity to do both: to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to conserve these complex paintings and to unlock a network of experienced professionals with whom to discuss them.

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