Frame Survey

Thanks to a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Conservation Department conducted a survey of all the picture frames in the collection in 2008–2009. These sometimes overlooked yet spectacularly crafted objects were carefully studied and documented. Conservator Joseph Godla and Associate Curator Charlotte Vignon worked with specialists from The Metropolitan Museum of Art to obtain basic cataloguing information and record the condition, materials, technical data, and construction techniques for each frame.

Enamels Survey

An assessment of the condition of the enamels in The Frick Collection has been carried out at different times throughout the history of the Collection. Condition notes were published in the Frick catalogues in 1955 and 1977, written by art historians Joseph Breck and Phillipe Verdier, respectively. In addition, more systematic surveys were carried out by conservators Harry Nelson in 1963 and 1972 and Rostislav Hlopoff in 1966.

Conservation of Fifth Avenue Garden Urns

Two massive Tennessee marble urns flank the large staircase of the Frick mansion's front façade on Fifth Avenue. The urns were part of the original design by Carrère & Hastings for the "furnishing and setting of the limestone and marble work of the grounds"; this included the front terrace, the balustrades, and six marble seats. As with the rest of the house, there were very specific instructions on the materials to be used in creating these urns, including an additional cost for plaster models.

Fragonard Room Lighting

During the summer of 2007, an innovative new lighting system was installed in the Fragonard Room to illuminate to its best advantage the bold palette Jean-Honoré Fragonard used in creating his masterful ensemble, The Progress of Love.

The project, which took four months to complete, upgraded the gallery’s sixty-year-old lighting system. Though state of the art when it was installed in 1947, the system had a narrow color spectrum and provided an uneven distribution of light.


The Conservation Department currently hosts a summer intern each year. The focus is geared toward the preservation issues associated with the care of the collection and historic mansion. The intern works with the furniture and objects conservator, as well as the conservation and gallery technicians, on a project basis. Please click on the link below for up-to-date information on available internships and the application process.

First Enamel Conservation Symposium Held in U.S.

Experts’ Meeting on Enamel on Metal Conservation
October 8 and 9, 2010

Academic Programs

The Conservation Department provides information on technical studies and conservation and preservation issues, by developing symposia, working with interns, and lecturing at seminars and conferences.


The Conservation Department conducts surveys of specific collections, such as frames or enamels, in order to gather detailed information and document the condition of these objects. This information is combined with historical material and included in an up-to-date database. These surveys assist in prioritizing the conservation needs of the Collection.

To learn more about recent surveys carried out at the Frick, click on the images below.