Conservation Science Initiative

The O’Donnell Institute partners with area institutions to advance research and education in Conservation Science.

Conservation Studio, Dallas Museum of Art

The O’Donnell Institute and The University of Texas at Dallas have joined with the Dallas Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in a partnership dedicated to advancing research and education in Conservation Science.

Together, art historians, scientists, curators, and conservators collaborate on research projects that focus on developing new techniques for conserving artworks and understanding artists’ materials and working methods.

Our Conservation Science program was founded by Dr. David McPhail and Dr. Norman Tennent, Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar at UT Dallas and Professor Emeritus at the University of Amsterdam.

The aim of this research is to work with museums to develop improvements to conservation practices that will extend the life of objects, making them accessible to future generations, and to deepen our understanding of artists’ materials and techniques.


Current Projects

An investigation of Andean textile dyes involving the development of novel analytical techniques

Conservation of a contemporary painting: identifying the working methods and materials used by John Wilcox in the creation of Crucifix

José Posada Printing Blocks

Historical Pigments


Completed Projects

Pigment and medium analysis of Paul Gauguin’s Under the Pandanus

Understanding Ultramarine Disease

We invite you to learn more about the O’Donnell Institute's other ongoing research.