The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has a fully equipped conservation laboratory. It is designed for the in-depth treatment of paintings as well as preventative conservation on other objects within the Permanent Collection.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia provides public awareness and outreach to artists, school groups, and the public about the conservation of fine art objects through articles, special conservation-related exhibitions, extended labels, and lectures.
The discipline of conservation encompasses two main areas: prevention and treatment.
Prevention focuses on providing an environment conducive to the well-being of all works of art according to recognized standards within the museum world. The retrofit of the Dominion and Provincial Building, both of which now form the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, ensures these standards are met with regard to temperature and relative humidity. Integrated lighting systems and climate controlled vaults further serve to minimize the influence of detrimental physical forces over the long term.
Conservation treatment includes the examination, documentation, research, and technical expertise required to ensure a work of art maintains physical stability while respecting the aesthetic intended by the artist. This requires the conservator to follow ethical standards set down by the profession and adherence to the principles of reversibility and minimal intervention.