The David Booth Conservation Center and Department is responsible for the preservation of The Museum of Modern Art’s collection. The department was established in 1958 in response to a fire at the Museum and was initially devoted to painting conservation. Since then, the department has grown to include staff and facilities dedicated to preserving works on paper, sculpture and objects, photography, and time-based media. The department also houses a scientific research section devoted to both study of the collection and development of new materials for conservation. Films are stored and conserved at the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center.
The Conservation department also advises on environmental controls and needs, special exhibitions, and travel, packing, and installation requirements. These activities form an overall preventative program, which seeks to maintain the collection for future generations. Conservators and scientists in the department are actively involved in scholarly research related to exhibitions and collections at the Museum.