Antiquities Conservation

Conservators at the Getty Villa Museum are responsible for the preservation, treatment, and technical research of all material types in the antiquities collection. The department’s work also involves preventive care of its collection, encompassing climate control, environmental monitoring and mount making, and oversight of exhibition installations and outgoing loans. Getty conservators conduct in-depth technological studies and material research of objects—from within the collection and on special loan—to gain insight into their specific history, including methods of manufacture, use, deterioration and/or alterations and to determine how these affect their treatment, preservation, and display. The department plays a leading international role in the development, manufacture, and evaluation of approaches and fixtures for the protection of delicate and monumental objects on display in the event of earthquakes, known as seismic damage mitigation. Committed to conservation training, the department hosts interns through the Getty internship program, and supports the UCLA/Getty Interdepartmental Program in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage.

The department regularly collaborates with national and international institutions and pursues global partnerships, most recently with Jordan. These collaborations aim at improving the understanding and state of preservation of an object or a group of objects, often contributing to exhibitions, and assist in local conservation training. Information gained through the department’s various activities is regularly shared through lectures, seminars, symposia, and publications.

Search the Collection

PUBLICATIONS

Cover of the publication Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt, featuring a painting in four quadrants showing various scientific analysis of a portrait

Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt: Emerging Research from the APPEAR Project

The papers and posters from the first APPEAR (Ancient Panel Paintings: Examination, Analysis, and Research) conference held in 2018 are collected in this publication, which offers the most up-to-date information available about these fascinating remnants of the ancient world.

Browse more titles

VIDEOS

In the summer of 2007, four bronze lamps were discovered in a rock-cut pit near the walls of ancient Vani. In collaboration with the Georgian National Museum, two of these lamps were conserved at the Getty Villa.

Watch more Antiquities Conservation videos

BLOG

FEATURED PROJECTS

Researching Etruscan and Italic Art

Antiquities Conservation is undertaking the study of objects in the Etruscan and Italic art collection in support of a forthcoming catalog on Etruscan and Italic Art in the J. Paul Getty Museum, authored by curator Claire Lyons. Conservators are utilizing examination methods such as digital microscopy, polarized light microscopy, multi-spectral imaging, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, and x-radiography. Nearly 600 objects representing the pre-Roman cultures of central Italy and ranging in date from the seventh to the first century BC will be featured in this online catalog.

Learn more about this project

 

Seismic Protection of Museum Artefacts

This seismic mitigation project is a collaborative endeavor between the J. Paul Getty Trust, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, and National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) to protect museum objects while on display in the event of an earthquake.

Learn more about this project

 

APPEAR

 Funerary portrait of a woman from an Egyptian mummy.

Ancient mummy portraits are unique examples of paintings that survive from Roman-era Egypt. The APPEAR (Ancient Panel Paintings: Examination, Analysis, and Research) Project, an international collaboration with over 40 contributors, aims to increase the understanding of these paintings materials and manufacture.

Learn more about the APPEAR Project

 

RESOURCES

Current Initiatives

A list of current projects undertaken by the Antiquities Conservation team.
View List (PDF, 341 KB)

Bibliography

Publications by Antiquities Conservation Staff
Download Bibliography (PDF, 384 KB)

CAMEO Materials Database

The materials database from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online contains chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on over 10,000 historic and contemporary materials.

American Institute for Conservation

The American Institute for Conservation (AIC) is the national membership association for conservators and allied professionals who preserve art and cultural heritage. Together with the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation, they promote the preservation and protection of cultural heritage and serve as a resource on conservation for the general public.

CAST:ING

The CAST:ING project is a framework to advance the understanding of bronze sculpture through contributions from an international team composed of 52 conservators, scientists, curators, art historians, historians, archaeologists, metallurgists, and craftspeople.

2020 MOUNTMAKING FORUM

Graphic for the virtual International Mountmakers Forum in October 2020.

The 7th International Mountmakers Forum (IMF) was held virtually in October 2020, rather than at the Getty, due to COVID-19. All of the presentations will be available online.

We look forward to the fall of 2022 when the Getty Museum will host the 8th International Mountmakers Forum! The forum supports the mountmaking community and is committed to fostering communication, promoting best practices, and disseminating current information regarding materials, tools, techniques, and solutions for object storage and display.

View the presentations and learn more

CURRENTFUTURE EXHIBITIONS

{{event.title.$t}}
{{event.title.$t}}
{{event.eventFullDateLocationString.$t}}

Modal Image Modal Image

 

CONSERVATION STAFF

Susanne Gänsicke

Sr. Conservator/Head of Antiquities Conservation

Bio +
Jessica Arista

Associate Conservator

Bio +
Richard Hards

Senior Mountmaker

Bio +
Erik Risser

Associate Conservator

Bio +
Elizabeth E. Soriano

Mountmaker

Bio +
Marie Svoboda

Conservator

Bio +
Susanne Gänsicke

Senior Conservator/Head of Antiquities Conservation

Bio +
Jessica Arista

Assosciate Conservator

Bio +
Richard Hards

Senior Mountmaker

Bio +
Erik Risser

Associate Conservator

Bio +
Elizabeth E. Soriano

Mountmaker

Bio +
Marie Svoboda

Conservator

Bio +

OPPORTUNITIES