Conservation Labs

Conservation Labs

Vonnda Shaw and Deb Long working on firescreen

The Objects Lab conserves a variety of 3-dimensional artworks and artifacts:

  • Fine or decorative art objects
  • Indoor or outdoor sculptures
  • Archeological and ethnographic artifacts

We work with objects made from: 

  • Ceramics
  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Leather
  • Organic Materials
  • Composite Objects

Rebecca Cashman
Objects Conservator

Deborah L. Long
Director, Ford Center; Associate Director, History Nebraska
Professional Associate, American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

Vonnda Shaw
Senior conservation Technician / Registrar / Digital Imaging Specialist

Megan Griffiths
Conservation Technician


Man cleaning a painting close up

Treatment options from surface cleaning to complete restoration of damaged paintings.

We treat materials and techniques including:

  • Traditional and contemporary
  • Oils and acrylics
  • Modern Materials
  • On-site murals in public or private buildings
  • Canvas and board
  • Stage curtains or backdrops

Kenneth Bé
Head of Paintings Conservation Laboratory

Woman handling document

Treating works of art on paper, document, books, and photographs on paper, including:

  • Watercolors
  • Drawings
  • Prints
  • Maps
  • Birth certificates and family records
  • Albumen and silver gelatin photographs
  • Books and family Bibles

Hilary LeFevere
Paper Conservator

  1. Make an appointment to meet with a conservator.
    • An appointment ensures someone will meet with you and help you move or carry your object. We will prepare a safe place to put your object so it can be unpacked and examined. The conservator will examine your objects and give you a verbal indication of what needs to be done, what can be done, and how much it might cost.
  2. Decide if you want a proposal and estimate.
    • If you want to proceed, the conservator will prepare a written list of treatment steps needed and will carry out some initial testing to be sure the methods and materials are safe and effective. The proposal and estimate will be mailed to you. The estimate will include a minimum and maximum cost for time and materials. You will be invoiced for the cost of the proposal and estimate after it is completed ($125 + sales tax, if applicable)
  3. Decide if you want to proceed with treatment and sign the proposal.
    • Two copies of the proposal and estimate will be sent to you. Read the proposal and estimate. If you do decide to have the work done, sign one copy of the proposal and estimate and send them back to the conservator. This gives the conservator permission to proceed with the treatment. Keep the other copy for your records.
    • Please note that each of the labs has a backlog for treatment and items are treated on a first-come, first-served basis. The conservator can give you an approximate idea of when treatment will be completed and can try to work with the necessary deadlines.
  4. After treatment is completed, you will be billed for the work.
    • Once payment is received, you can arrange a time to come and pick up your object from the conservator. We will send you photo documentation and a written treatment report for your permanent records.

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