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Art Restoration Careers


Art has been an inseparable part of human life and culture since the dawn of civilization. The spectrum of art is indeed vast and unlimited, beginning with the cave paintings of the early man, encompassing the Harappan art forms, (Indian) Gupta period, Greco-Roman art collection and continuing right up to the famous painters /sculptors like Tagore, Jamini Roy, Nandalal Bose, Gaugain, Rodin, Picasso, Van Gough and Salvadore Dali to name a few.

In today’s technologically advanced world, much care is being taken for the restoration and conservation of art and masterpieces. These two have become suitable career options for people of all age groups. 

Art restoration is a field that concerns itself with restoring works of art to a former state. These works of art include everything from paintings to sculptures to manuscripts. It often includes touching up and cleaning in different ways as well as repairing any damage that may have occurred over time. Art restoration focuses on making works of art look less worn out without losing their original essence. 

Art conservation, on the other hand, takes a more preventative approach to preserving works of art. Its emphasis lies in treating art in order to preserve it for a longer period of time. It also includes timely documentation and examination of art works.

Art Restoration Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for a course in art restoration in India you must have a bachelor’s degree (with a reasonably good overall percentage of marks) in archaeology, ancient history, medieval history or world history. Applicants should also have some knowledge of art, artists and prominent schools of art.

Once all the necessary qualifications are obtained your career in art restoration will begin as an apprentice. There is a lot to be learnt on the job and you need to acquire plenty of experience to be taken seriously as an art restorer.

Art Restoration Career Prospects

A career in art restoration can prove to be a big risk and therefore not many are willing to take up this challenge in spite of being qualified. There are other job options for those who wish to pursue art restoration career in the fields of archaeology, art journalism, art dealing and teaching.

Even though restoration takes place at selected places such as museums, and private art firms, the need for skilled restorers is desperately felt. There is, therefore, a promising future for all art-lovers.

Art Restoration Institutes & Colleges

Much of the restoration and conservation work in India takes places at the following places: 

    • National Museum Centres: There are three National Museum Centres in India. One is located in Lucknow, another in New Delhi and the third in Calcutta. Each museum looks after the art work of its own state.
    • INTACH Art Conservation Centres: INTACH stands for the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and is located in New Delhi. It lends its art restoration and conservation services to private collectors and other institutions. 

Some art restoration institutes take on private clients and can charge a higher amount for their services. Starting your own art restoration firm is also a good option as you can hope to get a higher income but it can prove to be a bit of a challenge as the cost of running an art restoration business is also quite high.

The following is a list of institutes that offer art restoration courses in India:

    • National Museum, New Delhi
    • University of Mysore, Crawford Hall, Mysore
    • University of Allahabad, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
    • Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, Haryana
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