The Getty Foundation’s Conserving Canvas initiative aims to maintain critical conservation skills for paintings on canvas through programmes of knowledge exchange. Our project is one of the initial projects funded as part of this initiative.
The focus of our project is on the interdisciplinary involvement of both curators and conservators. Pairs of conservators-curators will attend the College of Arts and The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow for training workshops related to the conservation of five canvas paintings from The Hunterian and the National Galleries of Scotland, including Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Lady Maynard (c.1759-60). Underpinning these workshops is the principle that canvas conservation is part of a holistic process interrelating all aspects of the condition, aesthetic, interpretation, and presentation of the painting.
Workshop participants will research the evolution of lining materials and techniques, and review how past structural treatments affect a painting’s appearance. They will also examine the visual presentation of paintings with different approaches to treatments with reference to the collections at The Hunterian, National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Museums, and Yale University. Afterwards they will complete individual month-long residencies in Scotland to treat the five selected paintings.