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Centre for Contemporary Art Conservation - where art and science meet

Cafe Balzac during cleaning

Gallery conservators cleaning The Café Balzac mural1962 Colin Lanceley, Mike Brown and Ross Crothall | The Café Balzac mural 1962 Left and centre panels: oil, synthetic polymer paint and mixed media collage; right panel: car duco, enamel paint, sand and plaster, oil, synthetic polymer paint and mixed media collage on plywood panels | Triptych: 195.3 x 487.4cm (overall) | Purchased 1988 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © Colin Lanceley, 1962. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, 2008. © Estate of Mike Brown © Ross Crothall.

Art conservation laboratories are often described as a cross between an art studio and a forensic laboratory. Conservators examine and analyse art works using microscopes, X-ray equipment, infra-red video cameras, and much more.

Conservators must understand physical and chemical conditions, art historical context, meaning and cultural significance before undertaking any conservation treatment on an art work. The role of the conservator is to preserve or restore art works (and the information they contain) to their most authentic state.

The Queensland Art Gallery employs specialists in the conservation of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and frames.

A series of professional workshops about contemporary conservation issues has been undertaken as a Centre for Contemporary Art Conservation, Gallery of Modern Art initiative.