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Art and Materials Conservation

Art and Materials Conservation


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Columbia College is the only school in the Midwest to offer a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Materials Conservation. While it may sound surprising to some, a flower vase from first-century Japan can tell us volumes about the person who created it and the tenor of his or her life. The same is true of a painting from the Italian Renaissance, a 300-year-old document, or even a photograph from the late nineteenth century. That’s why specialists working in the field of art and materials conservation are so important--they understand the science behind the deterioration and preservation of precious artistic, cultural, and historical artifacts.

Emphasizing rigorous interdisciplinary scientific methods, as well as the philosophies and ethics involved with preserving objects of artistic, historical, and cultural importance, this program prepares you for a variety of career options. After graduation you will be ready for careers in art galleries, museums, private collections, libraries, and archaeological excavations, as well as to gain entrance into top graduate school programs around the world.

Students in our conservation program are also required to complete a year-long segment of hands-on coursework with recognized preservation experts at the Lorenzo de’ Medici School. In Florence. Italy. Yes, you read that right. We’re requiring you to spend a year living and learning in Florence, Italy—otherwise known as the largest, most amazing classroom you’ve ever been in.

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