The New Brunswick Museum is showcasing 20 newly-restored works on the eve of the retirement of its art conservator.

Adam Karpowicz has restored close to 200 paintings over the decades, but some of his handiwork has never been displayed.

The New Brunswick Museum has 2,000 paintings on wood and canvas in its collection, but only enough room to show off a fraction.

Until the end of the month, an exhibit is showcasing around 20 restored works.

While space is an issue, Peter Laroque, the curator of New Brunswick cultural history and art, said many paintings are in need of repairs before they can be shown off.

"Every year we have about three or four works treated so that they can be put out on display in as close to the way as the artist conceived them as possible," he said.

Some works could suffer damage by being on display, but others are suffering the effects of time.

An embarrassing example of that can be found on a portrait of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett.

In the painting he wears white britches, but over time they have changed colour.

"It ran down here and over time, this turned just a very unfortunate shade of yellow," Laroque explained. The portrait is one that remains in storage.

The museum doesn't yet have a replacement for Karpowicz.