Restoration vs. Conservation

It’s been a couple of days since I posted anything, being busy with school and such does eat up a lot of my time. For that reason I figured I’d post my fantastic discussion post from my Art class. I’d like to point out that I didn’t write this until it was due in 30mins, so I think it’s not absoultly terrible for a rushed job.

Restoration vs. Conservation

To restore or to conserve, that is the question.

First, lets start by explaining restoration, the artwork would be physically altered by using paint brush or another tool to repaint the areas that are faded. Conservation would be the opposite, retaining the orig paint and only using methods to preserve the paint. One method is gluing the paint flakes to keep them in their original place, another is to laminate the piece to help preserve what detail is left and protect it from moisture, temperature, and humidity changes. Both of these methods are rather risky and can’t be undone once the method is applied. In their right, many artists and historians are fearful of restoring deteriorated art as you can never truly recreate the original art piece. A restorer can only mimic the original artists intent, brush strokes, and methods to the best of their abilities but, not to the abilities of the original artist. Thus forever changing the original piece.

My personal thoughts on this topic aligns with the conservation crowd. Though many pieces of art have been successfully restored to their former glory I feel like the best restoration is the best conservation. Preserve what you have left, cherish it, and protect it. Artists, historians, and other experts in this field could recreate the artwork using AI assisted tools, powerful imaging software, and a little time to recreate the piece in a digital format as to preserve our precious and timeless works. Limited public access to the original piece means it could be stored in a dark, temperature controlled room where it can be preserved for many, many years. We, the public, would have to adjust seeing only a digital recreation of the art, which would not be a stretch from how the situation is now. Or, it could be stored in a insulated, protective case ( if the size and medium of the art work allows for such) and hung on a wall in a museum for the public to enjoy. Drastic measures call for drastic times, if the art has deteriorated I believe in “just use some duct tape and hot glue” to preserve the piece.

The restoration of Ecce Home is truly a tragedy. What was a beautiful piece of art turned into a laughing stock. Sadly the art work is destroyed and forever lost, but memories and digital copies remain and help remind us of its beauty. The village and the pensioner had every right to be upset, but, I personally feel like quick to suing or another legal action would be hasty. Personally I feel like she would have to forever live in the hall of shame and disgrace among her peers and fellow artists. On the bright side her failed restoration brought in money for the church, allowing the church to fund renovations of its buildings. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise? Either way, the story ended with a silver lining.

Art Apreciation Assignment- Restore vs. Conservation

Jordan 06/12/2020


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