About the Conservation Department

The NGV conservation department is responsible for the care and preservation of the Gallery’s collection of around 65,000 works of art.

Like the collection itself, the conservation department covers several categories of art in a diverse range of media: Paintings, prints and drawings, frames and furniture, photography and digital media, fashion and textiles, and three-dimensional art.  Two other branches of the department are dedicated to scientific research and the conservation of artworks involved in the NGV’s many temporary exhibitions.

Some of the primary responsibilities of the department are:

  • to examine and document the collection  
  • to carry out conservation treatments  
  • to undertake research into issues relating the conservation of the collection, as well as the materials, techniques and history of the individual artworks

The department is based at NGV International on St. Kilda Road and employs around 25 staff members


Nicolas POUSSIN
The Crossing of the Red Sea (1632-1634)
oil on canvas
155.6 x 215.3 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1948
1843-4

Essay: To see a world in a grain of sand: a closer look at the ‘Melbourne Blakes’

The National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition British Watercolours 1760–1900: The Age of Splendour (2011–12) provided the Gallery’s paper conservation studio with the opportunity to undertake non-destructive technical examination of the much-treasured collection of watercolours from William Blake’s Divine Comedy series, 1824–27...

View entire essay