How can I practice to restore and preserve old artwork?
I have recently acquired a small (6"x 8") original oil painting that has been a family heirloom for a while now. As far as I can tell through research and artist signature validation, this piece is more than likely about a hundred years old. It is still in good shape but over the years has developed slight cracking in the paint in certain places and is yellowing from sunlight and smoke exposure from improper protection. While I don't intend on fixing these issues myself without the proper training (which is one of the main causes of the devaluation and ruining of fine art), after searching the internet for any restoration services nearby wear I live, there was virtually nothing available. It was also very hard to find even a few locations that even advertised such a thing.
So, I am curious after all this, how does one practice for these sort of skills, short of going to school to study such a thing? I would hope they don't let lay people practice on valuable works of art when they are learning.