We can help you find one. The AICCM directory of conservators in private practice lists over 65 members in Australia who are Professional Members of the AICCM and you can use it to find an expert in your region who is qualified to care for your art, object or memorabilia.
You can use the search terms in the box below to find a conservator who has expertise in the type of material or object you need help with.
Digital (data files, photographs etc) is a new field in conservation that is tackling the problem of preserving digital data. Frames refers to the conservation of frames—rather than making new frames for artworks. Objects incorporates the widest range of materials including ceramics, furniture, historical collections, metal objects, scientific collections,
Indigenous collections, archaeological and antiquities collections, plastics and modern materials (to name a few). Outdoor
cultural material and built heritage refers to outdoor sculptures and other artworks, as well as buildings and architectural sites.
The other specialisations listed below are Books, Paper (art and archives), Archives, Photographs, Audiovisual (analogue or digital), Paintings and Textiles.
As well as these materials-based specialisations, conservators provide services for public and private institutions, as well as for collectors focusing on the long term preservation of their collections. These services include environmental monitoring, education and training, preservation needs surveys, technical analysis and examination, disaster preparedness and risk assessments, documentation, storage and exhibitions, pest management and collection management.
The AICCM does not accept responsibility for the work of any individual conservator.
Conservators who are members of AICCM are required to follow to the Code of Ethics and Code of Practice. This sets out principles of ethical practice for conserving cultural material and outlines the responsibilities of the conservator.
Download the Code
Commissioning conservation treatments
Conserving historic or artistic objects is a skilled task based on the structural and chemical knowledge of the materials used and an understanding of the nature and significance of the object. Conservation treatments should be carried out by qualified conservators. When engaging one there are several things you should know.
1. Identification and Assessment of Objects
It's important to have an object accurately identified and valued before deciding on the type and level of conservation treatment to be undertaken. Conservators do not value artwork. Some of the major museums and galleries provide identification and advisory services at specified times or may be able to refer owners to commercial valuers. You can also consult a valuer registered under the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
Make sure you receive a report on the condition of the item and a quote for the cost of conservation before deciding whether to have treatment carried out. Some conservators charge for this initial report.
2. Treatment aims
The aim of conservation is to safeguard the object and the information contained in them for future generations. Conservation activities include examination, documentation, treatment, preservation, restoration and preventive conservation, all of which are supported by research, education and training.
Sometimes more than one conservation option may be available. The cultural or sentimental significance of an object can have a bearing on the conservation decision. This choice rests with the client, aided by the professional advice of the conservator.
3. Conservation treatment
Make sure you are satisfied with the security precautions, including fire protection and insurance, when engaging a conservator to undertake a treatment.
Treatment carried out should be consistent with that originally specified and quoted and ensure you are consulted before approving any significant variations.
The conservator should provide clear and unambiguous documentation of materials and procedures used including photographic documentation of before and after treatment. This information may be important in relation to the care of the object, particularly if further treatment is required in the future.
Make sure you receive a written quote for work on each object. This quote is usually based on an assessment of the condition of the object and the estimated time and materials needed for the recommended treatment. Other costs may include insurance, storage and transport.
Feel free to discuss costs, methods and materials with the conservator. If conservation is complex and costly, ask for more than one treatment recommendation and quote, or a variety of options from the conservator.
Download the guidelines