Each nation and society has its own legacies, culture, monuments and heritage sites, which they need to pass onto next generation. To pass it onto the future one needs to protect the same in the present.
The profession – Art Conservation- its an upcoming field that offers a lot of creative satisfaction especially to budding artists. Art Conservation involves knowledge of and interest in art and painting as well as that of applied chemistry. Number of professionals possessing dual qualifications or interests are very few and it is this factor which words in their favor. These professionals have very little competition among themselves. The profession is well paying apart from earning you social and cultural recognition. So, if you are young, have creative bent of mind and want to work in an atmosphere where your work matters then this is the right course for you.
Human nature is to preserve its heritage and pass it on to the next generation. He cherishes his past and lives in the legacies and wonders and excellence that were in the past. He wants to reflect the same in prodigy. But to preserve one’s art and paintings one needs to have professional knowledge of conservation. This requires the utility of the profession – Art Conservation.
Various institutes offer short term as well as degree courses. The New Delhi-based Institute of the History of Art Conservation offers postgraduate degree courses as well as short-term courses. The Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management; the Lucknow-based National Research and Laboratories for Conservation; and institutes run by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural heritage (INTACH) offer a number of short-term courses in art conservation. A number of museums and art galleries provide opportunity to budding professionals to have on-the-job training. The courses are broadly divided into two, viz., (a) Preventive Conservation and (b) Curative Conservation.
To become a conservator one of the most essential necessities is to have ‘sense’ of art. One should be able to have likening towards art. One should be able to have likening towards art and understand and appreciate the intricacies involved in any piece of art. For postgraduate courses one should be at least graduate in Fine Arts or Science with a specified percentage of marks, which varies form institute to institute.
Prerequisite Skills Sets
Since the job of art conservation is highly sophisticated and maneuvering, it requires a number of skills. These skills help him in not only performing his job well but also excel in his field. The foremost skill is that the person should have a vision for colors. he should be able to understand the basic differences of colors, be able to differentiate between two shades of the same colors and should know the philosophy behind the use of color. Artists have flare to use some particular colors at some particular period of history. The art conservator should understand the rationale behind the use of such colors. For example, during Mughal ruler Jahangir natural colors were preferred while during his successor Shahjahan golden colors were used almost as a rule. One should also have a good manual dexterity and be imaginative.
The field is largely unexplored and with growing awareness requirements of professional conservator will always be in favour of such professionals. After one is entailed with either degree of short-term diploma in the filed, one has option to work either in the government jobs or in private museums or art galleries.
Government employs art conservation for state-run museums and art galleries. State-run museums institutions also employ such professionals. conservation institutes run by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage also employ such professional. Private galleries, museums, houses or individuals having large personal collection or shops and emporium dealing with antiques also looks for these professionals either for full time employment or on the project or assignment basis. But the most encouraging option is either as a free-lancing or self-employment. Freelancers are not bound by the geographical boundaries and very often are employed by galleries located in the Western countries.
A fresher can expect himself to start with a decent Rs. 5,000 for in station assignment/project and Rs. 16,000 for outstation assignment/project. The amount here is only indicative and may differ depending on the nature of the assignment and can go up to anything Rs. 40,000 plus. With experience and diversification and specialization one can expect to earn a highly decent amount. Professionals employed with different institutes or museums have usually pay scale of Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 32,000 per month.
Where To Study
- Institute of the History of Art Conservation, New Delhi
- Delhi Heritage research and Management, New Delhi
- National Research and Laboratories for Conservation, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
- Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), branches allover India