One Year Anniversary for the Conservation Studio
Conservator Jane Wilkinson looks back on the first year of the Museum's dedicated Conservation Studio
On September 19th the conservation team marked the first anniversary of the opening of their refurbished studios. Thanks to the generosity of the Sir John Soane’s Museum Foundation, which funded the new John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Conservation Centre, the conservators have been enjoying the benefits of beautifully designed furniture, great lighting and up-to-date equipment, and all this within almost double the space they had before!
Open day in the John A. and Cynthia Gunn Conservation Centre
During this first year in the new studios the conservators have been busy working to tight deadlines, initially for the first phase, and now the second, of the Opening Up The Soane project. The conservation remit for this major restoration project is wide and includes cleaning and treating many museum objects, as well as liaising with a wide range of contractors. Through-out the project the conservators are also responsible for managing the impact on the museum collection from the on-going building works. In addition to these tasks they have also been busy working to fulfil a commitment to make the work they do more accessible to visitors and the public in general. This has included writing regular articles for the museum website, supporting the Education department, particularly Outreach, building research links with M.A. students, and whenever possible, showing off the new centre by opening it for public visits. Of course, all the permanent collections, arranged in the rooms of the house, continue to need attention and so the conservators are also busy carrying out day-to-day collections care alongside these other tasks
The varied and hectic timetable in the conservation department is often very demanding for its small team of conservators, however they have thoroughly enjoyed the last year, and have loved working in the fantastic new facilities which have definitely helped them meet the many daily challenges.
You can find more details on the work of our conservators in the dedicated Conservation section of our site. They will also be posting regularly to this blog.