Creating the DMA Conservation Studio


In the summer of 2012, the Dallas Museum of Art began making plans to renovate the former Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant space and transform it into a new Paintings Conservation Studio as part of the Museum’s initiative to establish a more comprehensive in-house conservation program. Construction began in the fall of 2012, and the studio is now complete, as is the adjacent Conservation Gallery. This time-lapse film captures the building process, as seen from the vantage point of what is now a public gallery space.

The Paintings Conservation Studio features state-of-the-art technology—including a digital X-ray system—and will serve as a center for the study and treatment of works of art, as well as research into cutting-edge conservation methodologies. Brightened with natural light from new skylights and enclosed by glass walls, the studio’s design will allow visitors to observe daily activity, providing audiences with a singular behind-the-scenes experience. Activities in the studio also will be visible from both the Conservation Gallery and the adjacent outdoor Rose Family Sculpture Terrace.

The first exhibition in the gallery, Behind the Scenes, highlights the artists’ original materials and techniques, as well as the conservation histories of the works on display, exploring the various treatments they have undergone. This adjoining gallery will regularly rotate works, providing a space to explore the conservation process in greater detail through visual representations.


Mark Leonard is the chief conservator at the DMA.


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