Conservation in the Eighteenth Century

Posted in resources by Editor on August 15, 2009

national-portrait-galleryAmong the various useful online resources available through the National Portrait Gallery of London, there is a directory of British Picture Restorers, 1630-1950. The first edition appeared in March of 2009, and the database is to be updated regularly (there is also a helpful Resources and Bibliography section that introduces various archival materials, many with links). Contributions and corrections should be sent to Jacob Simon at jsimon@npg.org.uk. The following description comes from NPG website:

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This is a directory of leading picture, paper and sculpture restorers, active in Britain before 1950, who worked on major collections or who advertised extensively in art periodicals. Many worked in London but others were based in Bath, Derby, Dublin, Edinburgh, Hull, Leamington, Manchester, Nottingham and Plymouth. Picture restoration only became a specialised trade during the course of the 19th century. As such, this directory includes dealers such as John Anderson and John Bouttats and print publishers including Thomas Gaugain and Robert Guéraut. It also includes the few artists such as Arthur Pond, William Kent, Joshua Reynolds and Joseph Wright of Derby, to highlight the role of the artist. But it excludes most artists’ suppliers and framemakers who only offered an occasional restoration service. The collections covered in some depth in this directory include the Royal Collection, the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Wallace Collection, the Soane Museum and the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood. It is hoped to treat the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and National Trust properties in more detail in a subsequent edition.

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