The painting conservators support many different facets of the institution's activities, checking hundreds of paintings for loan and taking responsibility for many hundreds more that arrive at the Museum as honored guests to be part of temporary exhibitions and displays. They also play an ever-growing role in understanding and sharing the physical art history that is locked within the objects in their care. The research into the collection is a vital component to our activities and, whenever possible, we share our work and insights with as broad an audience as possible both in person and through print and online publications, didactic information in the galleries, videos, and podcast episodes.
In preparation for the 2011 exhibition Cézanne's Card Players
, organized in collaboration with the Courtauld Gallery, we investigated the creation of this series of masterpieces through technical examination.
On arrival at the Museum for examination in October 2008, this painting's paper support was extremely brittle and delaminating from the wooden panel: a direct consequence of the work having been kept in an uncontrolled environment for many years.
Stanley Spencer's King's Cookham Rise
(1947) came to the studio to be examined and treated in preparation for an exhibition; a non-original varnish that had discolored over time and imparted a yellow cast as well as an overly saturated and glossy appearance was removed.