Code of Ethics

McKay Lodge Art Conservation Laboratory abides by the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice set forth by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). You are encouraged to read these documents available on the AIC website:

AIC Code of Ethics
Guidelines for Practice

Registrations and Examinations

For any item you submit for art conservation we are obligated to you, and obliged by the ethics and guidelines of our profession, to take the time necessary to understand the condition issues, document them in writing, in photographs or both, and explain in writing how our proposed recommendations for any actions, especially treatments, relate to those conditions.

In order to obtain an accurate cost proposal for conservation of an art work or historic object, the art conservator must have the item available for examination and testing at the facility where the necessary equipment is at hand. Normally, as in the case of our museum clients, art works are typically left with us for these exams and testing. There is a flat rate charge for this work. This charge covers registering the object in our system, providing a storage location for it, the conservator’s time in examining it, and the preparation of a technical and cost proposal for conservation. Any time-consuming additional tasks necessary for examination, such as uncrating, or unframing large framed works, will have additional charges.

The current hourly rate for art conservation labor is the rate used in the calculation of the cost proposal. Cost proposals are not estimates; they are firm priced proposals and the amount of the proposal will be the invoiced amount when the work is complete unless unforeseen discoveries are made in the course of treatment that would change the proposed treatment.

On some occasions, estimates may be offered based on either an initial examination of an object or on submitted photographs of the object and a discussion with the owner. You are welcome to contact us by email with a request.

Non-museum clients submitting art objects or heirlooms of uncertain value may benefit from meeting with the art conservator and presenting the art object or heirloom for the art conservator to evaluate briefly. The art conservator can then provide the owner with an estimation of costs and explanation of procedures or options to enable the owner to know before the flat rate expense of an exam if conservation work is affordable or cost-appropriate. For these meetings we often set aside one day a month as an art conservation “Clinic Day.” We also allow occasional appointments at other times. There is no charge for a brief meeting with the art conservator during such an appointment unless the time exceeds a half of an hour. If the owner decides to proceed with art conservation, the art object or heirloom still must be left for the conservator to fully examine the item and perform any necessary testing, as well as produce a written technical and cost proposal.

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