We were given an introduction into the conservation department at the Tate Britain by Charity Fox who is part of the conservation team and heavily involved in both conservation of works of art on paper and working with other galleries so items can go on exhibition and on loan.
The latter seemed like quite a long complex process of meetings and careful planning, but this really is only natural when you are talking about a Turner watercolour being loaned out. The department has a tally showing exactly how many days a piece has been on show that year, and how many are left before it has to go into a rest period, so it all seemed extremely organised. We were lucky enough to be shown a small Turner that was in for conservation as the iron gall ink used on part of the painting was burning through the paper – Amazing!
We were also taken into the framing department who design and build frames for all the works. There are standard frames for different era’s – for example anything after around 1920 goes into a modern ash frame.
Very interesting and I’m now looking forward to going back to see the actual gallery as I haven’t been for years!