Introduction to the conservation of paintings in the Iziko Art Collections
The conservation of painting in the Art Collections Department of Iziko Museums of South Africa is focused on the unique and valued collections from the late 18th Century to the present. The range of conservation and restoration treatments can vary depending on the paintings and their condition. Preparing works for exhibitions or for loans to other institutions is part of the conservators' responsibility, as is preventive conservation including the storage, environment, handling and transport considerations.
A grant form the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation received a year ago has enabled exciting new equipment to be acquired for the conservation studio at the SA National Gallery. This includes a new stereo-microscope, monitor and digital IR-VIS-UV camera where underlying layers of the painting can also be studied. With this, further research into the artists' materials and techniques can be undertaken.
Conservation practice at Iziko also has a strong commitment to education. Each year, students in the Honours in Curatorship programme at the University of Cape Town participate in conservation workshops and training sessions on writing condition reports. In July this year a workshop will be convened by an invited international specialist for the students and members of the profession.
Photo: Carina Beyer, Institutional Advancement, Iziko Museums of South Africa
Photo: Hayden Proud, Iziko Museums of South Africa
Photo: Angela Zehnder, Iziko Museums of South Africa