Category Archives: Conservation Stories

Major activities of The Walters’ conservation and technical research laboratory include examination, documentation, collections care, treatment and research. The conservators work in close collaboration with other museum staff members and are involved with exhibitions and other museum programs. The division actively trains young professionals entering the field and promotes public outreach through presentations and publications.

A Rifle Fit for a Sultan

Every item in the collection, like this Turkish Hunting Set, tells a story. Curators and conservators work to piece it together, examining each item’s history, composition, and necessary treatment. They unearth countless stories, fit together jigsaw puzzles of broken pieces, remove centuries of dirt and tarnish, and so much more. Using a range of techniques, technologies, and sciences, they study and repair items so they can continue to be enjoyed and explored for generations to come.


The Science of Display Cases

Friday, May 23, come to the Conservation Window and learn how display cases are designed and updated for better long-term protection and display of art objects. Conservator Katie Posthauer has been working for two years on a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to help identify and replace display cases in most need of Continue Reading →


From the Conservation Lab: Copper-Alloy Color Reconstruction of Three Ancient Egyptian Artworks

Recent research has shown that many ancient Egyptian metal objects were originally exuberantly colored, employing contrasting metal alloys or other inlays to highlight details or portions of a figure. These animated images show three ancient Egyptian artworks’ current condition and how they might have looked originally.


Unraveling the Mysteries of the Saint Amandus Reliquary

Museum conservators use modern technology to date and identify a 13th century Flemish reliquary. This large, church-shaped shrine once housed the relics of a 7th-century saint who served as a missionary and bishop to the western regions of present-day Belgium. St. Amandus (d. 679) also established a monastery at Elnon, near Tournai (western Belgium), where the monks later commissioned this reliquary to honor his remains.


Conservation of the Bodhisattva Guanyin

The Bodhisattva Guanyin, a beautiful near-life-size figure, was a recent gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Made in China during the Ming period (early 15th–early 17th centuries), the sculpture made its journey from the Duke estate to the Walters 19th-century galleries, where it received treatment by the conservation department prior to going on view in the Hackerman House.