Tutor: Jacob Simon*
This will be a 55 minute seminar followed by 15 minutes of Q&A.
This presentation is intended as a step towards a history of picture restoration in Britain. It explores some of the developments that have significantly impacted on the treatment and appearance of pictures since the 17th century:
- the introduction of picture lining in the 1670s
- a growing taste for ‘brown’ pictures
- the rise of picture restoration as a profession
- the introduction of panel transfers and the thinning and backing of panels in the early 19th century
- the impact of Charles Eastlake and cleaning controversies in the mid-19th century
- the introduction of the term ‘surface cleaning’
- the rise of scientific investigation from the 1920s
- the introduction of institutional salaried conservation posts from the 1940s
- the impact of the lining conference at Greenwich in 1974
- the articulation of approaches to cleaning in the 1990s
*Jacob Simon was previously the Chief Curator at the National Portrait Gallery and is now Research Fellow at the same institution. He was formerly editor of the Walpole Society’s journal for British art history, both voluntary positions. He is the instigator and keeper of four important research directories on the National Portrait Gallery website: British artists’ suppliers; The Art of the Picture Frame; British picture restorers, 1600-1950; British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers, 1800-1980.