Behind the Scenes with the Conservators
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‘Extremely informative! A lot of fun and good to see a wide range of aspects of conservation.’ Naomi Johnson

‘It was an excellent introduction to the material by caring and articulate tutors. The breadth of topics relating to conservation and restoration was excellent and enlightening.’ Gretchyn Hise

 

Level: Beginners

This course will be part of our Summer School portfolio, running in July 2019, and you’ll be able to book your place very soon. To be the first to hear when booking opens, please leave your details here.

SHORT COURSE OVERVIEW

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the conservator’s studio? Learn about furniture at the V&A, and paintings in the National Gallery, and why they look the way they do today, and along the way try panel painting for yourself in our Art School studios. Bring your own objects for some Antiques Roadshow discussion and advice, and visit National Trust property Knole with us, for superb insight into the conservator’s vocation.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

People come to work in the fields of conservation and restoration from all sorts of different backgrounds and interests, including, but not limited to, science, fine art, and the history of art. This unique course is for those of you with no real knowledge or experience of the area, but with an interest in looking behind the scenes to learn about and experience the role of the conservator today. To this end, we are bringing together three leaders in their fields: a furniture specialist, a conservator of paintings, and a frames expert from the National Trust’s conservation studio at Knole in Kent, to lead you on a fascinating three day tour of the field.

We approach the subject from a number of different vantage points. To help you understand the processes of the conservation of paintings, you’ll get practical hands-on experience of how a painted surface is created. No artistic skills required! This follows an enlightening visit to the National Gallery with our paintings expert. We spend another morning with one of the V&A’s leading furniture conservators, examining items from our own collection, alongside objects that you have brought in yourselves. Start thinking now about something small (and portable!) that you’d like advice on, or maybe scout one of the online auction sites for a bargain purchase. We consider your options for preservation, and learn about the differences between restoration and conservation, and when each might be most appropriate. From there, it’s on to the V&A’s furniture galleries, for a personalised tour, very much put together in response to the group’s interests. Last but not least, we visit Knole in Kent, one of the National Trust’s great country houses which dates back to the fifteenth century, to visit the house and public areas accompanied by its senior conservator. You’ll have some time to stroll in the extensive grounds, before visiting its newly established conservation studio where a team is busy preserving the house’s magnificent collection.

You’ll leave the course with real insight into the work of the conservator, and a unique understanding of the everyday challenges of this important field of work.

 

What’s included: all teaching, and entrance charges where applicable.

What isn’t included: your meals, travel in London (we use public transport to get around), and return rail travel to Knole near Sevenoaks in Kent. Please bring an apron to protect your clothes on the first day, and a notebook and pen.

 

 

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