Aitchison and Watters, Inc. Conservators of Art on Paper

About Us:

Founded in 1982, the firm of Aitchison and Watters is one of the largest private paper conservation studios in Los Angeles, and one of the top firms in the country. With a range of work from old master drawings to contemporary graphics and photography, Aitchison and Watters is equipped to handle the diverse array of problems that may occur to works of art on paper over time. With clients ranging from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Norton Simon and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Robert Aitchison and Mark Watters each have over 40 years of experience in the protection and preservation of art on paper.

Our Staff

Robert Aitchison

After receiving a Bachelor's degree in Studio Art with Honors from University of California, Davis, Robert Aitchison graduated with a Master of Science in the conservation of art on paper and photographs from the H.F. du Pont Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware. Between 1978 and 1982, he worked as a conservation assistant in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the paper conservation department. Since 1982, he has been the principal conservator of photographs at Aitchison and Watters, and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in paper conservation. He is widely considered one of the leading experts in the field of photographic restoration and the conservation of contemporary works on paper.

Mark Watters

Mark Watters received a bachelor's degree with distinction in art and art history from Stanford University in 1975. While studying under Antoinette King, senior Paper Conservator at the Museum of Modern Art, he finished his Master of Art History and diploma in Art Conservation at the Conservation Center of the Institute for Fine Arts, NYU. After 2 years with the paper conservation studio of Carolyn Horton and Associates Inc, he moved to California where in 1982 he co-founded Aitchison and Watters with partner Robert Aitchison, receiving a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship the following year. He is recognized for his expertise in old master prints and drawings and Middle Eastern miniatures in addition to modern and contemporary works on paper.

Institutional Conservation

Over the years, Aitchison and Watters have worked on projects for significant Los Angeles museums and art institutions. Some of these have included the following:

  • The National Gallery of Art
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • The Norton Simon Museum
  • Art Collections of the Huntington Library
  • The Broad
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum
  • The Hammer Museum
  • The Fine Art Museum of Houston
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art
  • Laguna Art Museum
  • The UCLA Special Collections


"I've known Aitchison and Watters for 10 years, and I find them to be the most trustworthy, high-level, professional conservators I've met." - Victoria Blyth Hill, Former Director of Conservation at LACMA

Aitchison and Watters have been profiled in numerous national publications and received numerous citations from conservation groups and the National Endowment of the Arts. Some of their coverage has included:

"Paper Chase" Courtesy Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times

"They have restored valuable pieces of art shredded during marital disputes, paintings that family dogs have mistaken for fire hydrants, and watercolors damages in fires. The maladies they fix include stains caused by mold, tears and food spills, and damage caused by insects or cellophane tape. And through it all, they prove paper is not nearly the flimsy material that many believe."

Los Angeles Magazine, Best of LA 2005

Los Angeles Magazine

"Aitchison and Watters isn’t the only studio in the city that repairs works of art on paper, but co-owner Robert Aitchison is L.A.’s premier photo specialist. A torn, water-stained silver gelatin panorama of Echo Park from 1912, back when Sunset Boulevard was dirt and the only buildings there were a few farmhouses, is a current project."

Our Services

Aitchison and Watters is equipped to handle artwork and photographs of almost any size, and a host of options in addition to conservation treatment, including:

  • fiber analysis
  • microscopic examination
  • collection surveys
  • condition reporting
  • consultation on collection preservation and management
  • design medium identification
  • consultation with conservation framers
  • long-term stabilization
  • examination under ultra-violet illumination
  • digital photographic documentation

Our Process

Upon receipt of artwork, Aitchison and Watters uses a variety of tools to assess the condition, and produce a condition report for the client along with a proposal of treatment and a cost estimate per treatment.

"Work that's world class quality." - Weston Naef, Founding Curator of the Department of Photography, The J. Paul Getty Museum

Office Hours by Appointment

(323) 957-1700

Created By
Aitchison and Watters


All Credit: Aitchison & Watters Inc, © 2016.

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