Contemporary Conservation Philosohpy: a Conversation with Christopher Foster, Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts describes the conservator as one who “examines works of art, treats condition issues, investigates artists’ materials and work methods, determines appropriate display conditions, studies potential acquisitions, establishes the design and construction of mounts for the safe display of objects, and conducts research related to artists’ materials.” In addition, conservators work alongside exhibition designers, collections management, lighting designers, and the registrar’s office. Conservation requires more than care for a physical object; it also demands meticulous record-keeping, research, and a creative impulse. In order to learn more about the field, I spoke with conservator Christopher Foster. Foster has worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts for the past 24 years in Works On Paper.

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