We manage, preserve and enable access to our collections in both physical and digital format

empty vessels in a conservation studio

Conservation brings excellence and innovation to the care of our collection, preventing damage and deterioration and ensuring that the collection is available for current and future generations to enjoy. To achieve this in our roles we:

• Have a preventive and risk-based approach

• Develop and implement policies and strategies to ensure long term preservation

• Examine and develop strategies to care for collection and individual artworks

• Research and use scientific analysis to study an artist’s technique, method and use of material

• Undertake treatments to the highest standards, fully documenting our work

• Work with artists or their estate to ensure the artist's intention is retained

• Provide best practice for storage, handling and display

• Ensure a holistic approach to collection care through environmental management and monitoring

Whatever the material or medium our role is to understand it and how it behaves to ensure long-term preservation of the collection.

We provide specialist conservation services to facilitate and support our programme acquisition, exhibition, display, loan and international touring.

Our areas

Conservation science and preventive conservation

Our team provide research and support to help care for our collection

Frames and workshop

We preserve, conserve and construct frames in our collection


We are responsible for the care and treatment of paintings in our collection from 1500 to the present day

Paper and photographs

We conserve paper artworks in our collection and preserve the images that artists have made on paper

Sculpture and installation art

We preserve and conserve a variety of traditional, modern and contemporary sculptures held within our collection

Time Based Media

We conserve works of art which depend on technology and have duration as a dimension