Photographs and Paintings


This is the page where you can find introductory information about how to care for the photographs and paintings in your museum collection.

Best Practices


This resource from the Hammond-Harwood House and City of Bowie Museums Collector’s Corner Workshop Series on the Care of Photographs highlights proper techniques for identifying, storing, and displaying photographs.

The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History offers this guide to Caring for Your Photos.

From the National Park Service, general guidelines for caring for photographs.

Also from the National Park Service, a guide to caring for color photographs.

From the Illinois Collection Preservation Network, a two-part webinar on caring for and preserving photographs and still images.


The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute defines a painting here and offers this guide to why paintings change over time and some basic preventative and protection measures. They also wrote a guideline for knowing when your painting needs to be cleaned and what it means to have a painting restored. This page discusses varnishes on paintings. And, lest you get too confused, they offer a handy glossary of conservation terms relating to the care of paintings.