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Lunder Conservation Center

Interior of Lunder Conservation Center

Painting Conservation Studio in the Lunder Conservation Center. Carl Hansen, Smithsonian Institution

The Lunder Conservation Center is the first art conservation facility that allows the public permanent behind-the-scenes views of essential preservation work. Conservation staff for both the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery are visible to the public through floor-to-ceiling glass walls that allow visitors to see firsthand all the techniques that conservators use to examine, treat and preserve artworks. The center has five state-of-the-art laboratories and studios equipped to treat paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, folk art objects, contemporary crafts, decorative arts and frames. In addition to providing expanded space for conservation projects, the center is a destination for learning about conservation science and techniques through educational kiosks, videos, public programs and outreach initiatives. More than 35 conservators from across the country participated in creating these educational components. A 40-foot media wall on the 4th floor features interviews with many of these experts.