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United Kingdom Institute for Conservation and The Victoria & Albert Museum

Conservation of Decorative Art Conference

21-23 April 1998

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

This is the first international conference to be devoted solely to the conservation of the decorative arts.  It is being organised jointly by UKIC and the V&A and will be held in the Museum.

An international gathering of speakers, from both the public and the private sectors, will present papers on the conservation and restoration of diverse decorative arts objects, ranging from historic interiors and surface decoration to artefacts in current use and the treatment of individual objects. The papers will focus on decorative art in many contexts - in museums and galleries, historic houses, religious buildings and private collections. Papers will explore the interdisciplinary methods necessary to conserve objects composed of many different materials and the use of both traditional and more contemporary techniques.

A major project at the V&A is the renewal of the British Galleries, on the scale of a museum in its own right, which is currently the subject of a lottery bid. There will be the opportunity to view the galleries and discuss changing methods and attitudes to display, the application of risk assessment to the open display of objects such as textiles, environmental factors and the logistics of assessing and conserving 8000 decorative art objects. The evening reception will be held in the Senior Common Room of the Royal College of Art.

The final day will consist of visits to the Albert Memorial, a monumental conservation project in Hyde Park, close to the site of the 1851 Great Exhibition; the new Centre for Conservation and Research at the V&A, a £14 million project which includes new textile, sculpture, paper and book conservation studios and science labs; and Osterley Park House, an 18th century house administered by the National Trust, on the outskirts of West London, which has just completed a major conservation campaign.


Tuesday 21st April 1997

Robert Turner (Eura Conservation)
Roof or Sculpture - the Albert Memorial

Janet Brough (Royal Pavilion, Brighton)
History of Surfaces and Effects of Conservation Treatments

Laura Drysdale (English Heritage)
The Chiswick Tables; Testing Techniques in the Pre-treatment Phase

Randy Silverman & Maria Grandinette (University of Utah)
Conservation of Decorative Art in Circulating Library Collections

Robert Payton (Museum of London)
Conserving the Art of Tile Decorations

Anne Sommer-Larsen (Norway Institute of Cultural Heritage)
Conservation of a Glass Chandelier from Kongsberg Church in Norway

Sheila Landi (Textile Conservation Consultancy)
Window Dressings at Waddesdon Manor

Amy Collier (Middlesex University)
Wallpaper - In and Out of Context

Theo Sturge (Leather Conservation Centre)
Gilt Leather Wallcoverings: Options for Repair


Wednesday 22nd April 1997

Pilar Caballe-Valls & Jodie Glenn-Martin (Plowden & Smith)
Snap, Cockle and Pop; Aspects of a Flexible Approach to the Conservation and Preservation of Lacquerware

Frank Minney (British Museum)
The Conservation of Burmese Lacquerware using Traditional Materials

 Jane McSloy (Jane McSloy Decorative Arts)
The Problems Encountered in Papier Mache Restoration

Deborah Cane (National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside)
The Conservation of Straw Work Objects from the Decorative Arts Collection at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Paul van Duin (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)
The Grachtenhuis, a mid 18th Century Doll's House

Alan Cummings (RCA/V&A Conservation Course)
Bonding, Business and a Billion Brushstrokes: Balancing Theory and Practice in Conservation Education for the Decorative Arts

Malgorzata Sawicki (Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney)
The Removal of Overpaintings from Gilded Surfaces

Christine Powell (V&A)
Gilded Frames: Techniques for Preparation

Leslie Charteris (Charteris Conservation and Restoration)
Restoration of Furniture in Bevis Marks Synagogue

Paul Tear & Flavia Philp (Wallace Collection)
Deterioration and Treatment of 18th Century Wood Marquetry
Suzette Hayes (Museum of London)
Conservation of a Trade Sign

Thursday 23rd April 1997

optional visits

Albert Memorial

New Conservation studios at the V&A 

Osterley Park House

Conference Costs
To include lunches, coffee & teas, evening reception and published papers of the conference

UKIC members; £130
non-UKIC members; £165
students; £60