Fine Art Paintings Conservation & Collections Management

with Elizabeth Jablonski, MAC, CAPC, AIC PA

Preserving Art and Cultural Assets


Assessments of Art and Cultural Assets

White on White, Ronald Bloore, 1967, (a site-specific work) after conservation in partnership with staff at Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI.
  • Condition examinations
  • Collections surveys
  • Materials identification
  • Historic building paint and wallpaper sampling, documentation & examination
  • Estimates for treatment and repair

Conservation & Restoration

Construction of Caribou Road, oil on canvas, inpainting, Military Engineers Museum, Gagetown, NB
  • Documentation-quality digital images
  • Loss stabilization
  • Tears and distortion repair
  • Grime and darkened coatings removal, as appropriate
  • Restoration with stable and removable materials, as appropriate

Collections Management

Sample collections layout. Storage plans available in 2D and 3D, static or interactive for long-term planning.
  • Long-term care solutions
  • Collection inventories
  • Storage furniture layout plans
  • (Re)ORG Method for existing storage
  • Collections Assessment Program: CAP Accessor
  • Display case materials & passive climate control advising
  • Moves, loans and packing plans

All work is conducted according to the Guidelines for Practice of the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators and the Code of Ethics of the American Institute for Conservation

Select Projects

Conservation and Restoration

01/2023 Condition Examinations: Reporting on conservation needs for budget planning, private client, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

01/2022 Conservation and Frame Stabilization of Twenty One (21) Paintings, private collection, for traveling exhibit

03/2017 Conservation of Outdoor Sculpture, Dalhousie University and DSRA Architects, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Gord Smith, 1967, Before and After Conservation

Conserved a large painted metal sculpture on display outdoors, by Gord Smith (born October 8, 1937): worked as a team with Graham Duffus, Architect; Dalhousie facilities management staff; CME, Ltd., moving and coatings specialists, and; Dalhousie Art Gallery advisor; consulted with the artist regarding original intent, coatings history and expected outcomes. 

11/2015 Conservation of Large Painting on Display, Naval Museum of Halifax, Admiralty House, Nova Scotia:

Haxby, F.J., 1941, after conservation, dusting frame, Naval Museum of Halifax, Admiralty House

Conserved a large (96.52 x 182.88cm) oil painting on canvas by Francis J. Haxby (1905-1976), 1941: the painting depicts a WWII naval convoy on the open ocean. Conservation was conducted at the museum, in view of visitors.

Sampling and Technical Analysis

2021 Paint Sampling for Analysis, private client, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Photomicrograph of paint surface, showing wood grain and metal soap formations.

Conserved and collected a microscopic sample from an oil painting on panel: the painting surface contains suspected metal soap formations along the wood grain pattern.  One of the formations was sampled to identify contents via scientific technical analysis at the Canadian Conservation Institute. Results available in a CCI Report.

2019-2020  Historic House Paint Sampling and Examination, Nova Scotia Museum and Architecture49, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Photomicrograph, cross-section of wall paint layers

Sampled and examined wall coatings in Perkins House, built in 1766, the oldest home in Nova Scotia: examined cross-sections for documentation and to inform new paint selection.

06/2010 Historic House Paint and Wallpaper Sampling and Publication, Nova Scotia Heritage Trust and the Ecology Action Centre, Nova Scotia: 

Wallpaper and paint layers with insets of photomicrographs

Sampled wall paint and paper of Morris House for documentation and to identify colors, lead, arsenic and other harmful pigments present: preparing samples for analysis by Dr. Christa Brousseau, Associate Professor, St. Mary’s University, Halifax, using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Findings described in Analyst, a peer-reviewed journal.

Collections Management

2020 New-build Conservation Lab Consulting, private client, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Advised on the components for a new conservation laboratory space in application for funding.

2019  Collection Storage (Re)organization Plan, private client, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Created a storage re-organization floor plan with furnishing recommendations for the collection of 15,000+  objects: the collection is housed in a historic building with limited, oddly-shaped spaces.

2019 Consulting on New Collections Storage Facility, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia: as a Collections Specialist at Parks Canada, based on experience working in existing facility

2019-20 Collections Care Plan for New Museum, Fathom Studios, Halifax, Nova Scotia:

Provided recommendations for the new collection care program and permanent exhibit conditions, including passive climate-controlled display case requirements

04/2009-10/2009 Public Collection Inventory and Condition Survey, Halifax Regional Municipality Culture and Heritage Division, Nova Scotia:

Inventoried and surveyed the Halifax Regional Municipality Indoor Public Art Collection, composed of 700+ paintings, drawings and traditional prints. Included images and documentation in database.

Before and After Conservation

Surface cleaning and inpainting

Surface Cleaning, Only, Leaving Varnish in Place
Varnish removal and overpaint removal, revealing figure in white
About Us

Elizabeth Jablonski has 20+ years of experience in museum and gallery collections. This includes planning and (re)organization for new-builds and existing collections & conservation spaces.

After earning her Masters of Art Conservation at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, she worked in collections throughout North America, such as at the Art Gallery of Ontario; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Menil Collection, Houston, TX. She also consulted at Golden Artist Colors and the Exhibition Alliance and was a collections specialist at Parks Canada.