What we do

B.R. Howard provides art conservation treatment to preserve cultural artifacts, historic structures and artwork. All conservation treatments completed by BRH are in compliance with the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work Code of Ethics.

With the importance attached to artwork, people will rightly invest a significant amount of effort, time, and resources to ensure that they are preserved for future generations. One of the ways of maintaining artwork in its original condition is through conservation. However, the process of preservation is a serious undertaking that should be left to an experienced conservator. As such, it is important to carefully evaluate a company before trusting them with providing preservation solutions. At B.R. Howard, we have been providing these same services for over 30 years. We have extensive experience in textile repair, historic vehicle restoration, artifact conservation, and sculpture restoration.

Our services can be used separately or used together to make a holistic 4-part conservation cycle that includes:

  1. Assessment

    The first step to determining whether a piece needs to be repaired or restored is to establish its condition. This is done through careful examination of the project in a process known as condition assessment. In order to ensure that all potential problems are detected and to prevent issues from reoccurring, art condition assessments should be done by a qualified conservator. This will go a long way in helping to maintain the integrity of the structure for many years.

    When assessing the condition of a piece or a collection, there are several factors we focus on. These include the age of the object, the materials from which it is made, the presence of visible scratches, breaks, weakness, or lost parts, among many other possible issues. Once this is done, we will document our findings, and recommend the best ways to address outstanding issues. Depending on the condition of the object, recommendations will relate to either upkeep or treatments. Our experts can complete condition assessment for individual pieces, full collections for museums and historical societies, and public art collections as we

  2. Treatment

    Once we have examined the object and identified any defects, we will recommend treatments to help in its conservation. Generally, preservation treatments depend on the condition and needs of the object in question. We also utilize different treatments for sculptures, paintings, and artifacts.

    For sculptures made from a variety of materials, there are several steps we can take to restore them. We will fill in cracks and minor breaks, apply wax coatings to restore luster, clean dirty or dusty pieces, install replacement pieces for those with areas of loss, and remove mold or soot caused by water or smoke damage.

    Oil paintings, and paintings in other mediums, may also need to be restored. After careful assessment, some of the measures that we can take include carefully cleaning the surface, repainting areas of paint loss, and removing any mold or soot caused by water damage and fire damage, respectively. Depending on the circumstances, we also repair canvas damage and offer frame repair.

    Artifacts such as military objects, furniture, historic vehicles, and cultural heritage pieces have great cultural and historical value. We will assess these objects before we begin replacing parts in areas of loss, cleaning any dirt off the pieces, or applying decorative painting over areas of loss.

  3. Maintenance

    Just like any other asset, pieces have to be maintained if they are to look great at all times. Scheduled and regular maintenance will help to prevent common issues that could compromise the integrity of the structure. However, proper art preservation upkeep will be possible only after the pieces and collections have been assessed. A conservator will examine the objects to determine the nature and frequency of maintenance services that would be required.

    Conservation maintenance is central to ensuring that the object remains stable for many years. Examples of the maintenance schedules and plans that we can recommend are regular cleaning after a given period of time, application of new wax coating after a specified period, as well as storage requirements and display instructions. In the event that the piece had to be repaired, we will carry out the appropriate treatment before advising on further upkeep. Indeed, regular maintenance is just as important as the treatments meant to repair defects.

  4. Training

    There are many ways in which communities can keep their collection looking great. Art maintenance training is an important part of what we do. This training is designed to help staff and volunteers learn basic maintenance techniques. We will have an art conservator come to the community to teach people on the best practices to keep pieces looking great, and minimize the risk of larger problematic issues arising.

    Some of the areas we will cover during these training sessions include the proper materials to use, when and how regularly to treat, which methods to use, and what to avoid doing during the process. Issues caused by improper cleaning and treatment can be expensive, time-intensive, and difficult to repair, so proper cleaning knowledge is vital. Our conservators have the necessary training and experience, having worked with different methods, materials, and chemicals for years. The experts will not only teach your staff basic upkeep techniques, but can also give tips on how to identify signs of a problem. In this way, the community can call a conservation expert in good time, before damage progresses to an irreparable condition.

    We provide a wide range of preservation services to ensure your pieces and collections are maintained, or restored to their original state. Whether the damage is as a result of regular wear and tear or a disaster, our experience puts us in a great position to handle the situation well. If you wish to learn more or request our services, kindly contact us today.

What is the difference between conservation and restoration?

Our team provides primarily conservation services rather than restoration services. Conservation focuses on maintaining the integrity of the piece’s history and story rather than making the object look brand-new. Watch the video to the left to hear our lead conservator, Brian, explain the difference.

Looking for a custom project?

Don’t see your type of project on the list above? B.R. Howard has worked on many custom conservation project needs.