Professional conservation of fine art objects, antiques, archaeological objects, and historic firefighting equipment.
I specialize in conservation of historic objects, 3-dimensional artwork, and archeological artifacts.
I am dedicated to providing professional objects conservation and restoration services for museums and private art collectors, and I continue my particular interest in working with antique fire equipment collectors.
Call or email to discuss projects and get estimates.
Depending on the project, work can be done onsite or at my conservation lab.
A collection of past projects I have worked on.
Colima Dog Vessel
1850's Ship Model
1750's Newsham & Ragg Fire Engine
Bolton Quickstep Fire Engine
Halls Excelsior Bank
Hegland Stoneware Plate
I hold a Master of Arts degree in Art Conservation from SUNY Buffalo State College and have experience working in the conservation labs at the Shelburne Museum, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, and the Denver Art Museum. I have done work for the New York City Fire Museum, the Fire Museum of Maryland, The National Museum of Industrial History, and for various private clients. I have also worked as an onsite conservator at archaeological projects in Iceland and Italy, and at historic sites in Antarctica.
As a longtime firefighter, I take a particular interest in conserving historic fire equipment.
Art Conservation is about preserving art and history for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. Art conservation blends aspects of preservation and restoration. The Conservator seeks to preserve the historic value of an object while restoring enough of its aesthetic value to make it presentable.
Preservation is the effort to stop deterioration of an object. One might say that preservation seeks to freeze an object in time. Restoration on the other hand is the effort to make an object look or function like it did when it was new, or at some particular point in its past. Conservation practice generally falls somewhere between those poles.
Conservators employ a scientific approach to the treatment of art and artifacts that will preserve an artifact and the information it carries as much as possible while restoring the appearance or function of the artifact as much as necessary to convey its value to the viewing public.
Whether a treatment emphasizes the preservation or the restoration aspects depends on the nature of the object, its history, and its intended future. An objects value may be in the history of how it was made or of how it was used, it may be in the aesthetic appearance of the object, or perhaps in its functionality. Its value may be educational, sentimental, monetary, or perhaps spiritual. A conservation treatment is typically a collaborative effort between the conservator and the curator or owner of an object. The conservator will assess the condition of the object and determine how it has deteriorated. The owner or curator will decide what are the most important or most valuable aspects of the object. The conservator and curator will discuss treatment options to best preserve the valued aspects of the object.
Josiah Wagener Art Conservation
Tel: (303) 909-3484
Some links to conservation sites, fellow conservators, and conservations programs.
AIC: The American Institute for Conservation
The professional organization for conservators
Buffalo State College Art Conservation Program
Masters degree program in art conservation
Paintings conservation in Pittsburg, PA.
Objects and paintings conservation in Princeton, NJ.
Large objects conservation in Central Pennsylvania
Cascadia Art Conservation Services
Objects and outdoor sculpture conservation in Portland, OR
Objects conservation in New York City
Paintings conservation in the SE. Pennsylvania
Mountain States Art Conservation
Objects conservation in Denver, CO
Paper conservation in Niagara Falls, ON.
Philips Art Conservation Studio, LLC.
Painting conservation in the Champlain Valley of New York
A map of fire museums around the world.
This is a hobby and a work in progress.