Damaged Artwork?

Any time a piece of artwork is damaged, it is a disaster. Preservation Arts has experience treating artworks with the following types of damage:

  • Smoke damage from fires

  • Water damage from floods

  • Insects & Rodents

  • Mold from storage

  • Damage during shipping

  • Cracks and breaks from accidents

  • Tears & scratches

  • Bad repairs

Call Preservation Arts!

We will assess the condition of the artwork or collection, and propose a plan of action. Disaster Response Services may include:

  • Assisting with insurance claims

  • Triage of damaged artworks

  • Packing

  • Transportation to the studio for repair

  • Art Storage before and after treatment

  • Repair of Artwork

  • Documentation


Preservation Arts treated over 900 artworks in the aftermath of the Santa Rosa fires in 2017.

After the Napa fire in 2017, we developed an invaluable working partnership with Preservation Arts. They dedicated a comprehensive team to manage all aspects of the project from recovery to treatment proposals for our outdoor sculpture collection that included sculptures by Mark di Suvero, Ray Beldner, William T. Wiley, Robert Hudson, Robert Arneson, Manuel Neri, Alan Shepp, Sam Perry, Viola Frey, Charles Ginnevar and more. Their expertise and attention to detail ensured that our outdoor sculptures were quickly returned for the public to enjoy.
— Robin, Exhibition & Collection Manger for di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

This 10th century Indian sculpture to the right is typical of a treatment to remove carbon caused by smoke from the surface of a porous stone.

The contemporary painting below is in the process of having smoked removed the surface.

Removal of smoke residues from a painting

Removal of smoke residues from a painting

Removal of acidic smoke particles is essential for long term preservation of artworks.

Water Damaged Screen

Severely water damaged Asian lacquer panels from a Chinese Coromandel screen. Older lacquer is particularly sensitive to water and can be severely damaged in disaster situations such as flooding or sprinklers. This 19th century screen had a shellac coating that had blanched on exposure to water.

“Unbelievable professionalism and restoration!!!!! Rowan Geiger was not only a pleasure to work with but the end result of our restoration of a 20th century coromandel screen was beautiful. It was terribly aged and had extensive water damage but looks beautiful now. Thank you much for a job beyond well done.”
— Karen S, San Francisco, 6/4/16
Coromandel Screen After Treatment

Coromandel Screen After Treatment


For assessments or information:

Please contact us to set up an appointment.

Call 510-808-7894 or email info@preservation-arts.com

What should you do if…

  • an object breaks… Keep all the pieces, no matter how tiny. Take photo.

  • a painting gets wet… Remove from area with water. Let air dry. Do not wipe.

  • a piece of art is exposed to smoke … Do not try to clean with chemicals as they may be absorbed into the artwork.

  • a painting gets torn… Do not tape, glue or sew as you may damage the paint and make repair more difficult.

We have been very happy with Preservation Arts [SF Art Conservation]. We had significant smoke damage in our home from the Tubbs wild fire. Stepanie Limoges came to examine the damage to our oil paintings, prepared a restoration proposal, and completed the work in our home over two days. Our insurance company, and others active in this area, initially suggested we have our art sent to Chicago for restoration. It turns out that friends who took that approach will be without their art for about six months!
Staphanie and her team were very professional. They took before and after photos, wrote a description of the damage, gave us a detailed report on the restoration steps used on each painting, added backing on the paintings that did not have it, and replaced hanging wires when appropriate. All this, and their final bill was significantly less than the original quoted price. We highly recommend SF Art for this kind of work.
— John S. Santa Rosa

Water Damaged Painting

When exposed to water, paint on canvas can blister, tent, curl crack and delaminate from the canvas very rapidly. All of these issues are seen below in the Before Treatment photo below. Preservation Arts expertly treated the damage as shown in the bottom photo.