When it comes to the care of gallery collections, conservation may not be considered unless damage occurs. However, as well as restoration services, conservation can also cover the ongoing protection and appropriate display of various mediums with the guidance of our trained and experienced team. 

Kneller Dorothy Before AfterAbove: a portrait attributed to Godfrey Kneller which was restored in our London studio

Our restoration services can be offered as a fast response following disasters such as a flood, leak, or fire – but more frequently they can be called upon for accidental damages, whether this is a knock, fall from height or a complete breakage. Conservation care and preservation assistance from our team seeks to avoid accidental damage from occurring, this can be completed through condition reports and environmental assessments. 

Above: a glimpse into our specialist conservation studio in Cumbria, in this space our painting and frame conservators work together

Genres covered by our experts are not contained to traditional art, our services in preservation, handling and restoration cover the following areas:

We also offer conservation for unusual objects and materials including mixed media, taxidermy and papier-mache, as well as memorabilia and collectibles. 

Restoration Studio DiscussionAbove: our team discussing the conservation of various artworks in our care, including treatment plans and logistical services

Caring for collections in a tailored timeframe

We offer a hassle-free process for restoration quotation and recommendations, the majority of which can be given purely on photographic evidence of damage. These assessments have no obligation attached to them – simply at the first signs of damage, or following the discovery of discolouration or any further concerns, you can email our helpful team who will look over your artwork and provide you with a prompt response. 

To use this quotation service, you can email a photograph of the artwork and damage, as well as the dimensions of the piece, to [email protected] 

fine art restoration company london shopAbove: our London studio is located on Ebury Bridge Road in central London, close to Victoria, Pimlico Road and Sloane Square

Where an artwork requires a tight turnaround for restoration we can take this into consideration and work towards a date which has been agreed to make sure it returns in time for a sale, exhibition, or special event. 

Our team can be on call for your art gallery for a fast response following damage, this includes the removal of an artwork following a leak, flood or fire, as well as recovery following breakages following an accidental incident. Our office is open from Monday-Friday but you can also contact us on weekends via the chat function on this website. 

Sarah Losh Wreay Assessment Side Art Gallery ServicesAbove: artworks can be assessed on location or within our studio, here our team assess a damaged oil painting on site before proposing a treatment plan

Sensitive and non-invasive restoration treatments 

In many cases it will be important that damage does not affect the value of an artwork, and so the restoration and conservation treatments performed must be as seamless and sensitive as possible. Our conservation team is trained to a museum standard and only carries out minimal intervention to ensure the artistic and historic integrity of the piece. 

Above: the gentle retouching of a slight crack or distorted area is completed with tiny amounts of colour matched conservation-grade pigments

In some cases, where the artist is still alive and in contact with your business, our conservators can liaise with them to ensure that the outcome is to their satisfaction. In some cases, a repair can be carried out by our team and have any finishing touches completed by the original artist – if this is their preference. For more historic artwork where this is not possible, any areas of retouching are applied with the smallest of brushes, so as not to interfere or disrupt the original composition. 

Before and after of Stoddart paintingAbove: in some cases charming hidden features can be discovered under historic discolouration, as was the case with the oil painting above which was restored by our team

Professional restoration treatments should be fully reversible, meaning in the instance of oil painting that any new paint that is added to damaged areas is not forever changing the artwork. This is isolated between layers of specialist varnish and can be removed in the future if another restoration takes place. This is important for both the historic quality of the work and for future analysis and conservation.

Above: when paint has fallen away our conservators will always use the original, putting them back into place to preserve the artistic integrity

Care guides and custom conservation plans

Our art gallery services team can offer a customised pamphlet on care for your gallery, this can be for the education of your team or as an added value piece for your clients. Please get in touch to see how we can help you with this as a training tool or as an aftercare service. As well as printed or digital literature on conservation care, we can also offer in-person talks, a video series, or monthly magazines on restoration for the education of your team. We can also help in the assessment of environments in your gallery and storage spaces, this will help in risk assessments in avoiding future damage occurring. 

condition reportAbove: an example of a condition report which can be produced on the history, quality and materials of an artwork in your care

Professional condition reports can be carried out on selected paintings or your entire collection as part of an inventory. Condition reports can consist of either simple outlines for care and the overall condition, or can be more complex with a scientific analysis of the artwork in our studio. Technical assessments can consist of specialist photography, pigment analysis and cross section analysis under microscopes. 

Above: our conservator completing consolidation work on a painting by Sheila Fell in our studio, following an in-depth assessment of the artwork

Condition reports not only help you to understand the requirements of an artwork, but may also be valuable in their sales to provide a clean bill of health or to point out where historically significant changes may have been made. In some cases our team may uncover signatures or hidden areas, helping to build provenance or a story behind the artwork. 

Oil painting signaturesAbove: signatures which were discovered or preserved by our team of conservators during restoration

Professional storage and art handling

Storage solutions within a conservation-approved environment can be provided in our specialist studios. This will ensure that they are cared for by trained professionals, as well as insured with appropriate measures. 

Shipping and transportation with our in-house art handlers can also be provided, whether this is between shows or following damage for a fast response. Shipment advice can be provided, as well as the creation of made-to-measure crates and packaging. 

Taking Down From Display WreayAbove: all manner of artworks and installations can be professionally removed if required, they can also be expertly stored and transported by our team

Framing and installation with a conservation approach

All of our framing is bespoke and created with conservation in mind. This means that we only use acid-free materials, which unlike some conventional frames, will not discolour the paper over time. As well as traditional oil paintings and works on paper, we can also provide framing and casing for a wide range of artworks and more unusual shapes. 

rude copper restorationAbove: damaged caused to a Banksy print before and after restoration, this was due to a heavy frame falling from height – both aspects were restored and stabilised by our team

As well as providing new framing portfolios, tailored to your gallery or your client, our specialist team is unique in providing the full restoration of original and antique frames. This includes the stabilisation of structures, the recreation of missing elements, and hand-crafted gilding. If required, frame conservation can be completed on both historic and contemporary frames.

Gilded Frame With Painting RestoreAbove: a frame and artwork can be restored at the same time, allowing them to be reunited in their very best conditions, this frame and painting were completed in our studio

Get in touch

If you would like further information on any of the topics mentioned above, or would like to arrange a time for us to discuss your requirements in more detail, please get in touch with our helpful team. 

To make contact please email us via [email protected] or call 0207 112 7576

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