Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Conservation Case Studies

Read about the restoration of key AGO artworks and our conservators' research and findings.

How to conserve Tom Thomson’s “The West Wind” (1917)

For Tom Thomson's 139th birthday, we're sharing details on how we conserved his "West Wind."

Under the Light: Preserving Tess Boudreau’s negatives and contact sheets

Curatorial intern Cat Lachowskyj shares her recent findings made during her work in the AGO Photography Collection.

Hive Mind

Preparing Pierre Huyghe’s “Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt)” — a statue that contains live beehive — for display during Luminato Festival 2016.

Conservation Stories: From Vault to Wall

Conservator Sherry Phillips shares the behind-the-scenes stories of getting artwork out of the vaults and ready for gallery display.

Highway to Hell: Conservator Sherry Phillips revisits the Trans Am Apocalypse No. 3

How we got John Scott’s 3,300lb. doomsday vehicle ready for its debut at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Investigating Thomson Collection miniature boxwood carvings

Learn about research into prayer beads and miniature devotional altarpieces and their construction in this article for CODART by Alexandra Suda, Associate Curator of European Art, and Lisa Ellis, Conservator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts.

Getting a closer look at Thomson Collection prayer beads

Read about techniques our conservators have used to look inside these miniature marvels and better understand their construction.

Introducing Tessa Thomas and her work with Belle Epoque posters

As a Samuel H. Kress Fellow in Conservation, Thomas’s work focuses on the conservation of Ross R. Scott and Donald R. Muller’s remarkable donation to the AGO: more than 75 posters, prints and drawings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and artists in his circle. Get a closer look at these incredible works on paper.

Uncovering the mystery of the Molenaer

Learn what an AGO conservation intern discovered while working on Landscape with Figures, a painting that appeared in the Gallery’s very first exhibition.

Cleaning George Reid's "Landscape With Stream"

George Reid painted "Landscape With Stream" as a wall mural in 1911 for his studio in Toronto’s Wychwood Park. When this painting came to the AGO, it was not only dirty but also very fragile. Read on to learn how it was repaired and conserved for future enjoyment.

Restoration of the William Henry Boulton Portrait

The Art Gallery of Ontario recently carried out a major restoration project on George Berthon’s Portrait of William Henry Boulton (1846). This exhibition reveals the conservation process required to restore the painting and, in so doing, explores an aspect of museum work that is rarely made public.

The Science in Art: Safe, Safer, Safest

Conservation of fine art can be much more rigorous than often expected. Conservators must be highly skilled in fine art techniques to be able to match the delicate brushstrokes of an 18th-century landscape, and they must also be inquisitive scientists, aware of any chemical reactions that may occur as they mix solvents, and monitor the gallery’s environment.

Share and Enjoy: