Painting Conservation, Part 1

F.W.Jackson: 'Boats on the Shore' Collection, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

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,  

'Boats on the Shore' F.W.Jackson. Collection Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Pre-conservation – detail of damage

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:  

Watch the picture’s progress!   

Jill Irving

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Posted on 10/08/2010, in Conservation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Cynthia D.Lyons

    Fred Jackson was married to my grandmother’s sister in Whitby. I have several Fred Jacksons as do other members of my family. BUT I am trying to get information on E C Booth for I have a charming almost a “primitive “of a coastal scene in Robin’s Hood bay. I love it for people are doing things and, to me a story unfolds. Could it be the same as the author C E Booth? Did he paint for it came from Fred Jackson studio in Whitby to my mother. The date is 1866.(same scene as in James Harriot’s book on Yorkshire.
    I would appreciate any info you might have.
    Thanking you in advance, Cynthia D.Lyons
    Venice, Florida. USA

    • Dear Cynthia,

      What an interesting story, thank you so much for telling us about it! Our conservator, Jill Irving (who has been writing our posts on the Jackson painting) would be happy to help. Her email address is if you would like to send her any specific enquiries about the painting. It is wonderful for us to know that our blog is reaching people further afield and we hope you continue to enjoy it.

      Best wishes,

      Harriet (Project Assistant, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum), and all at the Herbert.

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