The paper conservators of the Midwest Art Conservation Center have over 33 years of professional expertise in examining and treating the entire range of works on paper including works of art, historical documents, and three-dimensional objects. The conservators treat works ranging from early Renaissance prints and drawings to modern and contemporary works of art. Works come to the Paper Conservation Laboratory that have been executed using a variety of media including graphite, charcoal, chalk, pastel, iron gall ink, printing inks, watercolor, gouache, and acrylic paint. In addition to performing in-laboratory conservation treatments, the conservators also conduct object-by-object condition surveys of museum collections.
In most works on paper, image and support are inextricably bound together. The character and condition of the paper are critical to the condition of the artifact as a whole. The intimate relationship between image and support strongly influences the direction of conservation treatment. Defined in part by the nature and quality of the materials used in its construction, a work on paper is also acted upon by outside factors such as storage and handling, environmental conditions, and human intervention. Recognizing the causes of structural and cosmetic problems is an important part of determining the proper course of treatment for a work on paper. MACC paper conservators understand these variables and are committed to providing treatments that are tailored to each individual piece and adhere to the AIC Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.