Conservators prepare a mist lining at SRAL

Register now for the Conserving Canvas Symposium, hosted by the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University, October 14-17, 2019.

Conserving Canvas is an international grant initiative focused on the conservation of paintings on canvas. Artists began to use canvas supports during the 15th century in Europe, and the material quickly grew in popularity. Today, the adoption of canvas is ubiquitous, with museums in virtually all parts of the world possessing canvas masterpieces, whether they be old master paintings or modern or contemporary artworks. For centuries, it was common practice to protect canvas paintings by backing or lining them with another canvas to create a moisture barrier and provide greater structural integrity. However, in the 1980s, museum conservators adopted less invasive techniques. While this shift towards minimal intervention is positive overall for the field, it has also produced a knowledge gap among today's museum conservators and curators in how to treat lined paintings.

graphic image of a canvas weave
Conserving Canvas aims to ensure that conservators remain fully prepared to care for these important works of art through a combination of training activities and information dissemination, as well as an upcoming symposium. Support is available for museum projects—including conservation treatment residencies that focus on knowledge and skill development—and targeted professional development opportunities such as training workshops and seminars for curators and conservators.

For more information or to submit inquiries for consideration, organizations may contact Please note that support is not available for individuals.

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Image Header: Conservators at the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL) prepare the back of a canvas for mist lining. Image courtesy SRAL