The Gerald Ford Conservation Center located at the birth place of Gerald Ford in Omaha is part of the Nebraska Historical Society. What most people don't know is what happens behind closed doors. The conversation center is doing significant work to restore artwork and save important articles like cleaning and repairing artifacts.
Kenneth Be, Head of Paintings Conservation Laboratory, explained the important work going on at the center. Many universities, museums, corporations and private collectors send their articles to the center for salvaging or repair at all different levels. Mr. Be manages the painting portion of the work while Deborah Long is Head of Objects at the conservation center. When asked what one of the most difficult items to care for was, the response was a urine soaked pelt that took many hours to clean.
The work they do at the conservation center is a labor of love, precise and painstaking. The utmost care must be taken with these irreplaceable works. The center both assesses what would need to be done for repair and the proposed cost along with being able to do many of the repairs. Inside the center is quite large housing laboratories for the different paintings, artifacts, sculptures, et cetera along with having a large room that is used for various things such as meetings or storing things at the request of customers who need special care but not the room for the items. These requests are typically short term solutions for the owners.
A portion of the center is a museum for some of President Ford's historical items. He collected many things including small dolls and tables from the Asia-Pacific region of which there is an example at the center. Group tours can be made by appointment for this small but interesting memorial.
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