Art Conservation Studio



Studio Policies

AIC Code of Ethics
HCS associates are members of the American Institute of Conservation (AIC). Our treatment recommendations and practices are guided by the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.

Consultation in-studio
There is no charge for the first thirty minutes of consultation time. Thereafter a charge will be assessed for each fifteen-minute time increment at the studio hourly rate. Consultation may involve an oral cost estimate and or assessment of object’s materials, general condition, age, etc. Notes may also be taken to aid in preparation of condition report and treatment proposal. Condition report fee is due, in addition to consultation fee (if applicable), for objects left at HCS. No objects will be accepted without remittance of appropriate fees. All consultations are by appointment only.

Consultation on-site
Time will be billed portal to portal at the studio hourly rate. Consultation fee and condition report/treatment proposal fee must be remitted prior to or at the time of the consultation depending upon arrangement with HCS associate.

Condition report/treatment proposal
Amount of time needed may vary based on object(s). Average time is between 1 to 1½ hours for a proposal which includes examination and testing. Billed at the studio hourly rate. The fee for condition reports/treatment proposals may be requested up front for large projects or for insurance claims.

Studio hourly rate* 

Contact Information
It is the responsibility of the owner/authorized agent to provide HCS with updated contact information in the event of changes.

All items must be insured while at the HCS studio. HCS is not an insurer, however the item may be able to be covered under the fine art insurance policy that insures HCS upon request and may be subject to value of object. Insurance provided by owner of property must include a waiver of subrogation.

HCS associates may be available for transporting smaller objects of low value. There will be a fee for this service which will be based on time spent driving from the studio to the site and the return trip. Billed at the studio hourly rate. Larger or multiple objects as well as items of higher value should be conveyed by art handlers or movers with special training in handling fragile items. We often are asked to repair damage caused by movers so contact us for recommendations. Please do not arrange for items to be delivered or shipped to HCS without making prior arrangements with a HCS associate and providing tracking information. 

Approval of treatment proposal
The treatment proposal is a contract that will specify the manner and type of work to be performed.  It will also specify terms. A signed copy of the treatment proposal, accompanied by an advance of fifty-percent of the total treatment cost is due to schedule work. Scheduling will be confirmed only upon receipt of advance monies and the signed proposal. Please note that once you have signed the proposal and we have begun treatment on an object, you are committed to have us finish the treatment as recommended. If a signed copy of the proposal and remittance of advance monies is not received by HCS within three months from the date report was mailed, a storage fee of ten dollars per day will be charged, beginning on the first day after the three month time period. Storage fees may be waived, if other arrangements are made within the grace period.
Treatment scheduling and time of completion
The amount of time it takes to complete a treatment will vary. Once a signed copy of the treatment proposal and advance monies are received, the object will be placed in a treatment queue which will vary in length of time depending upon the backlog of each HCS associate. Please note that once you have signed the proposal and we have begun treatment on an object, you are committed to have us finish the treatment as recommended. The queue is approximately six months to a year for furniture and frames and is significantly longer for works on paper, parchment and photographs. We may periodically stop taking in work from new clients if it is hindering our ability to complete existing projects or we are in the middle of completing treatments for a large exhibition. Emergency treatment may be carried out to stabilize an item within a short period of coming into the studio and then additional treatment recommendations would be carried out at a later time. Expedited treatment may be available on a case by case basis upon discussion with the HCS associate; a higher hourly rate may be charged for this service. Expedited treatment is only completed on very rare occasions.

Final payment
Clients will be notified once treatment is complete and invoiced for the remaining balance of the treatment costs. Final payment must be received by the appropriate HCS associate within 30 days of the receipt of the invoice or on the day of pick up of the object (whichever comes first), unless other arrangements are made.

Payment methods and associated charges
Tennessee state and local sales tax (Smith County) will be added to the cost of treatment when applicable. Payments by checks or cash are preferred; however, credit card payments are accepted (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). Checks should be made payable to Heller Conservation Services. A 3.5% service fee will be added to cover the costs of processing in the case of payment by credit card. In the case of payment with a check that is returned to HCS for insufficient funds, the owner/authorized agent must reimburse HCS for all associated bank fees payable by cashier’s check or credit card as well as any remaining amount due. A late fee of one point five percent (1.5%) on any remaining amount due will be added per thirty (30) day period for unpaid invoices. 

Storage fees for completed treatments
Completed work not removed from HCS studios within thirty-days will be assessed a ten dollar per day storage charge beginning on the thirty-first day. Storage fees may be waived if other arrangements are made during the treatment phase or the grace period.

Abandoned property
After one-year of completion of treatment or storage of property where the treatment proposal was not authorized, monies owed to HCS associates will be collected by consigning property to a licensed auction house. Proceeds from the sale will be deducted from the amount owed HCS (treatment costs, storage fees, other costs associated with consigning property) and the remaining balance will be forwarded to the owner of the property at the last known address on record. Alternatively we may ship the item back to the owner in a method of our choosing at the last known address on record. It is the responsibility of the owner/authorized agent to provide updated contact information to HCS in the case of changes. These actions may be waived if other arrangements are made during grace period.

*Studio hourly rate is subject to change.  Contact us for current rate.when applicable.