The Williamstown + Atlanta Art Conservation Center is a non-profit organization comprised of regional conservation centers in the Northeast and Southeast.
It has a member consortium of over fifty organizations throughout the East Coast and many private clients and is the largest regional conservation center in the country.
The conservators at W+AACC adhere to the Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice as formulated by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC), the national membership organization of conservation professionals.
W+AACC’s mission is to protect, conserve and maintain heritage objects from all cultures; to provide examination, treatment, consultation, and related conservation services for member institutions and other non-profit organizations, corporations, and individuals; to conduct educational programs with respect to the care and conservation of works of art and objects of cultural interest; to participate in the training of conservators; to promote the importance of conservation and increase the awareness of the issues pertinent to collections care; and to conduct research and disseminate knowledge to advance the profession.
The organization was founded in 1977 on the campus of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Since 2008, the Williamstown labs have been located at The Clark’s Lunder Center at Stone Hill, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando. The Atlanta center was established in 2001 as a partnership with the Williamstown Art Conservation Center and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, recognizing that cultural institutions throughout the Southeast were in need of conservation services. The Atlanta labs occupy an ultramodern shared facility near The High.
W+AACC partners with museums, libraries, educational institutions, historical societies, archives, corporations, independent art professionals and private collectors on all aspects of collections care. The organization offers consultation and treatment for the preservation of a full range of artworks and artifacts, as well as scientific analysis of the highest quality for materials characterization and identification. The highly skilled team of conservators is expert in multiple disciplines: paintings, works on paper, photographs, sculpture, multimedia objects, textiles, furniture, frames, decorative arts, conservation science and modern and contemporary art.
Well-known works of art that W+AACC conservators have treated include Jackson Pollock’s Number 2, 1949, Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today murals, Vincent van Gogh’s Irises, and Picasso’s Le Tricorne.
Education and professional development are integral to the organization’s mission. Staff at both facilities engage with the public through programming, education, and active community outreach. Staff engage with the field through training and mentoring graduate and pre-program conservation interns, publishing scholarly articles, and presenting new research at conferences and other specialized gatherings. In Williamstown specifically, the conservators teach a popular course at Williams College that introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the history, methods and materials of the discipline of conservation.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, ACCESSIBILITY, and INCLUSION
Williamstown + Atlanta Art Conservation Center is committed to the premise that the preservation of cultural heritage is inseparable from our belief that the creations and histories of all peoples must be acknowledged and honored. Through our support of all conservation and heritage professionals, we actively strive to create an inclusive and equitable environment in which all members of our community are valued and respected.