Painting Conservation, Part 1
Hello, I’m Jill Irving and my job at The Herbert is Easel Paintings Conservator.
I love the fact that my work is extremely varied – involving ‘hands on’ practical stuff together with problem-solving. I am involved in condition checking of loans in and out of the gallery and monitoring the environment – light, temperature, humidity, vibration and dust are all potential hazards. The treatments I carry out on the pictures and frames in our collection range from surface cleaning through to varnish removal, stabilisation of loose paint, structural repairs – tears etc – filling and retouching of paint losses. All treatments are fully documented with detailed reports and photographs.
I am about to start treatment on a picture we’ve had in the collection since 1943 and because it is totally unconserved,
I thought it might be the perfect candidate for a blog! The canvas has two tears, the varnish is yellowing and the frame has considerable damage.
The painting is by F.W. Jackson, (1859-1918) and its title is ‘Boats on the Shore’. Fred Jackson was a founder member of the New English Art Club in 1886. After periods in Oldham, Manchester, Brittany, Wales and Paris, he settled near Whitby. He is notable for being an English artist who worked in the Barbizon manner. Influenced most by Bastien Lepage in France, he in turn influenced a number of the younger Staithes Group of artists. There is a photograph of Jackson painting on the beach at Staithes, or possibly Runswick Bay, with Dame Laura Knight. You can view it here: http://www.fwjackson.co.uk/
Watch the picture’s progress!