Conservation and Restoration


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Conservation comprises a range of activities aimed at preserving or restoring objects, including paintings and sculptures. An object can be preserved by controlling the humidity, light, and temperature in its environment, but restoration always requires changing the object itself. Art historian and conservator David Scott has argued that we should reject such principles on the ground that we are free to let our own cultural preferences regarding the appearance of an artwork prevail over the artist’s intentions. Purist restoration might also be preferred because it is less likely to cause permanent damage. Conservation efforts would not be called for if paintings and sculptures were not subject to deterioration. Preservation is naturally the dominant concern in the case of archeological or pre-historical objects that are valued primarily for what they can reveal about a past that is very distant from us.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to the Philosophies of Painting and Sculpture
EditorsNoël CARROLL, Jonathan GILMORE
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781000634471
ISBN (Print)9781138233812
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2023

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© 2023 Taylor and Francis.


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