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“Facture” Series Publications

Conservation · Science · Art History

The conservation division celebrates the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art in its new biennial journal, Facture. Named for "the manner in which things are made," Facture explores themes in the materiality and history of art, addressing all aspects of the discipline from conservation treatment and history to technical art history to fundamental scientific research.

Conservation and scientific research undertaken at the Gallery on the objects in its collection are focused on artists' methods and materials—identifying the materials used by artists, understanding the ways in which different artists handled these materials, and discerning how best to preserve the qualities the artists prized. One line of inquiry supports conservation treatments by distinguishing between the artist's original work and any alterations introduced by later restorers or by the aging process. Another area advances art historical studies by tracing the artist's decision-making process, as revealed in changes made by the artist during the work's creation or by choices of novel materials and techniques. A third develops innovative materials and methods for use in conservation treatment.

Image of Book Cover: FACTURE: Conservation · Science · Art History, Volume 3: Degas

Facture: Conservation · Science · Art History, Volume 3: Degas

Volume 3 of the conservation division’s biennial journal Facture is dedicated to the works of the Edgar Degas (1834-–1917) in honor of the centenary of his death. This volume is the first volume to focus on the work of a single artist, and it features a wide variety range of essays that draw on the tremendous wealth of the National Gallery’s collection and its collaborative scientific, scholarly, and conservation expertise. Read more


Facture: Conservation · Science · Art History, Volume 2: Art in Context

Volume 2 presents great works of art in new contexts. Examining the art of two very different eras—the Italian Renaissance and the 20th century—the essays in this volume share a common approach. Essays start with meticulous material and analytical study of works of art, then place the findings in a broader historic context, providing new perspectives on well-known works. Read more

Facture Volume 1

Facture: Conservation · Science · Art History, Volume 1: Renaissance Masterworks

The inaugural issue of Facture brings together the recent work of Gallery conservators, scientists, and curators centered on Renaissance painting, sculpture, textiles, and works on paper in the Gallery's collection. Read more