As Conservator: Paintings, my role is to carry out conservation treatments and provide conservation support for the Gallery’s loans programme, preparing the collection for display not only at national and international museums and galleries, but also our Regional Partner (Bodelwyddan Castle, Montacute House and Beningbrough Hall) and long term loan venues. I assess the condition of paintings and advise on conservation requirements not only for paintings that come into the collection but also paintings that are to be prepared for display and are to be loaned. I ensure appropriate measures are implemented for the paintings’ safe transit and display.
I provide conservation support for displays and exhibitions and assist with studio management. I also work on a wide range of practical conservation projects. As well as developing and carrying out practical treatments on paintings that require conservation, I implement preventive conservation measures that help ensure the long-term care of the collection on display and in store.
I joined the Gallery in 2010 following my graduation from The Courtauld Institute of Art where I completed my post graduate diploma in Easel Painting Conservation. During my three years’ formal training in painting conservation I undertook placements at English Heritage, Liverpool Museums and Manchester City Art Galleries, the latter with the support of the Association of Art Historians’ Voluntary Work Fund. I have also worked for private paintings conservation studios in London and Bristol. I completed my undergraduate degree in Art History and Italian in 2004 at the University of Leeds.
My published research investigates rigid insert systems as a means of supporting canvas paintings and protecting them from vibration and environmental variations. Testing materials such as polyesters, acid free card, adhesives and foamcore boards was part of the research which reviewed appropriate methodologies for non-contact and removable supports.
Past studies apply material science to the degradation of artists’ media that accounts for efflorescence and whitening of modern paintings. Using established analytical methods such as cross-section paint analysis, scanning electron microscopy and scientific theory I was able to explain surface changes that had been noted on twentieth-century paintings in a historic house. My research clearly revealed how modern paintings can be affected by changes in environmental conditions.
(upcoming)‘Vibration management for canvas paintings: a review of rigid stretcher insert systems, their materials and application’ in ‘Current Technical Challenges in Painting Conservation’, Angelina Barros D'Sa, Lizzie Bone, Rhiannon Clarricoates and Helen Dowding (eds), 2015, Archetype Publications
‘Characterisation of surface whitening in twentieth-century European paintings at Dudmaston Hall, United Kingdom’ with Burnstock,A., de Groot, S., and van den Berg, K. J, published by ICOM-CC International Council of Museums Conservation Committee 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon, 2011.