When many of us picture the duties of a fine art conservator in London, we imagine somebody with a steady hand and an exemplary eye for detail, seated before a work of one of the Old Masters. While this is undeniably accurate, there is more to the tasks than this. Art restoration involves prevention as much as cure, so a large part of the role involves preventing damage from befalling vintage paintings.
Initially, a fine art conservator in London may be called upon to assess a collection of art - whether privately curated or hosted in a museum or gallery – and asked to review the conditions. A skilled and experienced conservator will be able to assess the lighting, temperature, humidity, and other environmental aspects of the collection. Advice will be provided, if necessary, on how these conditions can be improved.
This advice will also extend to handling advice, with insights offered as to how emergencies should be handled. Any experienced fine art conservator, in London or any other city, will be acutely aware that unplanned mishaps can arise. Suggestions will be made as to how art can be expected to maintain its lustre in the threat of fire, flood, or similar disasters. While it is not always possible to protect art from Acts of God or man, knowing how to react when such an issue arises can be critical.
Pest management is not necessarily something many people associate with a fine art conservator, but London-based practitioners need to be particularly au fait with this side of the role. The legend that nobody in London is never further than six feet from a rat is just that – an urban myth – but there is no denying that major cities need to manage issues surrounding pest infestation. Many common deterrents or pesticides are harmful to delicate paintings, so some idea of how to keep unwelcome invaders away is essential.
Art that is showcased in museums and galleries is also often temporarily rehomed and loaned to other institutions, so a fine art conservator in London will look into ensuring that paintings are not damaged in transit. It takes many years of experience and insight to understand how to achieve this transportation without harm – simply tossing a painting into a van and hoping that a removal company will pay attention to the 'fragile' markings is a disaster waiting to happen.
If you're keen to learn more about the life of a fine art conservator in London, make an appointment or drop into the Simon Gillespie gallery on New Bond Street. The gallery is some of the most skilled and experienced art conservators in the world, all of whom have dedicated years of their lives to studying this craft and ensuring they provide the greatest level of service possible.
Whether you wish to glean insights into how damaged art is restored to its former glory, or simply seek reassurance that your treasured collection will not experience any ill fate, the team at the Simon Gillespie gallery will educate and inform.