About Conservation

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The gallery’s collection is made up of an incredibly diverse range of objects, from ‘traditional’ artworks such as oil paintings on canvas and wood panel, bronze and marble sculptures, stained glass and works on paper, to contemporary artworks incorporating plastics, synthetic paints and time-based media.  Conservators at the Hugh Lane take care of this varied collection to preserve artworks and present them in the best possible condition for the enjoyment of visitors to the gallery.  Research and analysis is carried out using a variety of methods such as microscopy, ultra-violet fluorescence, x-ray and paint analysis and this detective work can tell us a great deal about an artist’s materials and techniques.  It can also reveal secrets invisible to the naked eye, such as compositions hidden beneath surface of a painting, changes made by the artist during the making of an object, or evidence of past restoration.   We regularly interview living artists to document their process and develop guidelines for preserving and treating their work.