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Pictures Behind the Scenes

Opening Saturday August 3rd 11am - 6pm.

Tuesday 6th- Saturday 10th11am - 4pm daily.

A look at some of the conservation projects we currently have underway at the Art Centre. Some are work in progress, others are awaiting cleaning and attention.

We will display works by Constable, the Suffolk and Norwich School Artists and a few from the 20th Century including important drawings by Harry Becker.

A selection of 19th/20th Century watercolours and drawings from a group assembled by Harold Day will be for sale.

Enhanced detail of an early pencil drawing by John Constable of a Barn, c.1798

The brown spots are caused in this case by ferrous particles as seen on the roof and door as black spots. These have discoloured the paper with ‘rusty’ stains, often referred to as foxing. The paper has also discoloured, caused by light and atmosphere.

The cleaning of the work was carried out to improve and stabilise the support, in this case the paper, but not to bleach it beyond its original colour, indeed it was ‘cautiously cleaned’ and given a purified water rinse to allow scope for a future process to be undertaken.

Past Projects

Oil painting by E R Smythe Gypsy Girl c.1850

The lower left square shows the original state, most of this is atmospheric contamination from the days of open fires, together with discoloured old varnish.

Oil painting by T. Smythe Snowscene c.1860

This work had become dirty and the varnish discoloured in less than two generations.

A solvent is required to remove old varnish but great care needs to be exercised. The thin straight line and marks in the sky is old restoration to cover a scratch, which was removed and replaced with a minimum of retouching.

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