Tag Archives: movies

Conservation In The Movies

As the holidays approach you are probably wondering what to do with the family after the big meal is consumed and the football games are over. How about some entertainment featuring a conservator?

H.P. Lovecraft: Two Left Arms

H.P. Lovecraft “Two Left Arms” (2013)

“Carter, an art conservator, arrives in Italy to restore a fresco in an old church. He discovers that the strange locals are hiding something and a mystery relating to a nearby lake that legend says was created by a meteor.”  —IMBD

The cover leaves me wondering, are the locals octopuses who only have left arms? We will have to watch and see.


Behold the MonkeyBehold the Monkey (2016 TV Movie)

A “well-intentioned parishoner” tries their hand at fresco conservation. A reviewer on IMBD writes, “A story told in a very simple, cartoon-like way, without too many words or caracters. [sic]”

How bad could it be? Let us know if you watch.



Caged Poster

CSI: Caged

A “manuscript restorer” is dead and one of the prime suspects is…wait for it…THE CURATOR! The IMBD description says she was killed “during a crazy escalation of meanness.”

Most curators I know are pretty nice people and not prone to murderous deeds. Also, there’s something about a dog.



Holly Hunter in Home for the Holidays (1995)Home for the Holidays

Conservation Online has the best synopsis: “Holly Hunter plays a paintings conservator who goes home for Thanksgiving after being fired by her museum because they lost their NEA funding.” That all hits a little too close, you know?


Sigourney Weaver and Peter MacNicol in Ghostbusters II (1989)Ghostbusters II

Not the best Ghostbusters movie in my opinion, but watching Sigourney Weaver “make ends meet” as a conservator working on a possessed painting feels familiar.  We’ve all worked on some pretty creepy things, right?

And finally, no movie round up would be complete without National Treasure.

Next to enzymatic treatment (aka Spit), lemon juice on a swab is the bee’s knees. And ONLY someone trained to handle antique documents should do such a thing, especially while wearing white cotton gloves.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and entertaining New Year! We’ll see you in 2020.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Welcome to the new version of our blog! We just migrated over to WordPress, please adjust your bookmarks accordingly. We have a new URL, but we have set up a re-direct for the old one so you can still find us.

The holiday season is upon us, and is our tradition we offer up some last minute gifts for that hard-to-buy-for conservator or preservation enthusiast on your list. This year it’s all about fiction and movies sine we read enough technical literature for our jobs. All work and no play…

Homicide in Hardcover: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle. The description reads, “The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn’t be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.” Intriguing, no?

The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga. Written in 1995, the book follows a young conservator on her journey to Florence to help with the recovery of books affected by the floods of 1966 (a seminal year in the history of library conservation theory and practice). Along the way our heroine discovers more than just a rare volume of erotica.

The Kill Artist by Daniel Silva. Part of the Gabriel Allon series, the main character is an Israeli intelligence operative who also happens to be a paintings conservator. Don’t you think some of your colleagues may be secret undercover agents with mad spy skills?

National Treasure. What better way to represent conservators than one that is willing to squirt lemon juice on the U.S. Constitution in the name of discovering long lost treasure? And Nicholas Cage is just fun to watch, in my opinion.

Ghostbusters II. Admittedly not as good as the original but still a fun movie filled with ectoplasm and all around hijinks. Siguorney Weaver’s character, Dana Barrett, is a paintings conservator.

Holly Hunter also plays a paintings conservator in Home for the Holidays. Why do paintings conservators get all the character lines? Anyway, a light and funny film especially good for those of you traveling to meet family this year.

For more finds be sure to visit Conservation Online’s listing of books, movies and more, all with a conservation theme or character. If you have any to add, leave us a note.