The Barnes's Conservation Department has the difficult but rewarding task of caring for the art collection. From paintings, frames, works on paper, ceramics, metalwork, sculptures, furniture, textiles, jewelry, and even buildings, conservators are responsible for an incredibly diverse range of objects.

Conservation encompasses all aspects of collection care, including treatments, examination, documentation, and research. In addition, conservators are tasked with environmental monitoring, maintaining safe display environments, and providing regular collection housekeeping.

Conservation and the Move

The conservation team was deeply involved with the preparations and logistical planning for moving the collection downtown. Every item was examined, stabilized if necessary, and packed for safe transport. The conservators were also involved with establishing display guidelines for the new galleries, which includes ensuring safe light levels, testing building materials, and instituting environmental controls. The new Philadelphia location also includes state-of-the-art conservation facilities for continued collection care.


Barnes conservators take an active role in the study of art and artists in the Barnes collection through first-hand research. Drawing from their own training in art and science, and through collaboration with international colleagues, their findings are shared with the public with the aim of advancing knowledge of a particular technique, object, or artist's work.

Code of Ethics

For more information about the work of conservators, read the American Institute of Conservation’s Code of Ethics.


Read blog posts about conservation at the Barnes Foundation.