Restoring a Masterwork II: Guercino's Erminia and the Shepherds
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The Restoration
Daily Log
Condition Report
What's Wrong?
Treatment Steps
IR and UV Photography
Anatomy of a Painting
The Painting
General Overview
Jerusalem Delivered
The Commission
The Artist
The Engraving
Painting and Engraving


Midwest Art Conservation Center Joan Gorman and David Marquis are senior paintings conservators on the staff of the Midwest Art Conservation Center (MACC), a nonprofit regional center for the preservation and conservation of art and artifacts, located at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Founded in 1977, MACC is an art conservation laboratory and field education service, providing examination and treatment of works of art on paper, paintings and murals, indoor and outdoor sculpture, decorative arts, ethnographic artifacts, and textiles. It serves 150 member organizations in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Dakota and corporate collections and private collectors in the Upper Midwest and elsewhere.

More information on MACC can be found on its website at

Conservation as Stewardship

The principal curatorial mission of any art museum is the preservation of its collections. This is a sacred public trust that merits the same fervor of commitment and ample allocation of resources as educational programming and loan exhibitions.

Guercino's Erminia and the Shepherds, acquired by the museum in 1962, has played a critical role in defining the genius of 17th-century Italian painting for our visitors. However, the gradual physical deterioration of the picture-an inevitable consequence of time-had compromised that role. This extensive restoration ensures that this masterwork of Bolognese baroque painting will edify, inspire, and delight future generations.

With nearly nine hundred works in the Institute's paintings collection alone, conservation needs are unrelenting and far exceed available funds. The costs of complex treatments of large works are especially punishing and impossible to meet without outside support. In this instance, we gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of American Express, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Marbrook Foundation and the Paintings Curatorial Council of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Past Restorations

You may examine a selection of the works recently restored by selecting one of the paintings below.

Delacroix-Before Restoration Delacroix-After Restoration Canaletto-Before Restoration Canaletto-After Restoration
Robert-Before Restoration Robert-After Restoration Derain-Before Restoration Derain-After Restoration

Click to examine some past restorations.