Maren, objects conservator
I didn’t actually know about conservation until I started studying archaeology, but when I found out that it was a separate field, I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do! It’s a perfect – and finely balanced – combination of history, art, chemistry, knowledge of materials, craft techniques, practice and theory.
Conservation as a field is very diverse in its own right – both in respect of the types of materials you can work with and the types of work involved. You can work with everything from archaeological to modern materials, from tiny fragments to huge buildings. In addition to research, we carry out preventive measures in order to prevent future damage, direct conservation to improve objects and reduce damage, and much, much more.
I trained at the University of Oslo. First I did a bachelor’s degree in archaeology and conservation, and then a master’s in objects conservation. As an objects conservator, my working days at the museum are pretty varied, and that’s something I value a lot. But the very best thing about being a conservator is getting so physically close to the art – that’s been a powerful motivating factor for me, at least! It’s a field that you can never finish learning about. You learn something new all the time.