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About The Met/ Conservation and Scientific Research/ Objects Conservation
A group of conservators in their lab staining wood paneling for the British Galleries

Objects Conservation

The Department of Objects Conservation is responsible for the physical care and technical study of three-dimensional works of art. Its activities engage the entire span of the Museum’s collections, encompassing objects of artistic and cultural significance from all over the world dating from the seventh millennium B.C. to the present day. Working with all of the Museum’s seventeen curatorial departments, four other conservation departments, and conservation scientists, the department’s thirty-five conservators, conservation preparators, and administrators play a role in all aspects of The Met’s core activities and collaborate with cultural heritage professionals worldwide.

Since its founding in 1870, the Museum has dedicated substantial resources to the preservation and technical study of its collections. Built upon the efforts of a diverse assemblage of craftspeople, restorers, scientists, security guards, directors, and curators working in isolated workshops, laboratories, and offices, the discipline of conservation gradually attained professional stature at the Museum, culminating in 1942 in the creation of a Sub-Department of Conservation and Technical Research. Currently, more than twenty academically trained conservation professionals, specializing in three-dimensional works of all kinds, are situated in dedicated studios and laboratories, collaborating closely with curators, scientists, conservation preparators, registrars, collections and facilities managers, and other museum specialists.

Read more about the history of conservation practice at the Museum in Caring for the Met: One Hundred Fifty Years of Conservation.

Featured Projects

The Materials That Make Mangaaka

Conservator Ellen Howe and Associate Research Scientist Adriana Rizzo discuss the range of organic materials used to create Mangaaka power figures.

After the Fall: The Conservation of Tullio Lombardo’s Adam

Conservators, scientists, and curators tell the story behind the unprecedented conservation of Tullio Lombardo’s Adam.

Enlightened Technology: Radiographing an Image of the Buddha

Researchers at The Met used 3-D X-ray technology to explore the inside of a Gupta-style bronze statue of the Buddha. Here’s what they found.

Protecting the Crown of the Andes

A Met conservator, conservation preparator, research scientist, and curator collaborated to restore the stability of this spectacular, gold-and-emerald "Crown of the Andes" and ensure its survival for future generations.

Our Work

Treatment and Research Projects

Browse a selection of conservation treatment, installation, and research projects by Objects Conservation staff.

Conservation of the Collection

Learn more about our technical studies and scientific analysis, conservation treatment projects, and preventive care activities, as well as our design and fabrication of mounts for the safe display, transport, and storage of works of art.

Education and Training

Learn more about educational opportunities for conservation training at The Met.

Professional Collaborations

Objects Conservation staff maintain close relationships with other professionals in cultural heritage institutions both at home and abroad, and regularly partner with colleagues on conservation and historic preservation projects.

Who We Are

Meet the Staff

Get to know the people who care for the art.

Meet the Fellows

Learn about the work of our current and past fellows.

Dig Deeper

Department Bibliography

Browse a complete bibliography of our staff’s work.

Met Publications

Dive into The Met’s many publications on objects conservation.

Blog Articles

Read fresh perspectives on objects conservation at The Met.

Videos

Watch videos on objects conservation at The Met—behind-the-scenes work, interviews, lectures, and more.

Stay Connected

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@metobjectsconservation

Friends Group

Friends of Objects Conservation brings together individuals who are passionate about art and curious to learn about the work of the department.