CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Getty Foundation Launches Grant Program to Preserve Conservation Skills for Paintings on Canvas

The Getty Foundation announced the launch of Conserving Canvas, a new initiative that aims to ensure that painting conservation skills are passed on through workshops, seminars, training residencies, and a major symposium. The initiative’s initial projects support the study and conservation of works on canvas by Thomas Gainsborough, Anthony van Dyck, and François Boucher.

“Through extensive consultation with specialists in the conservation field including experts at the Getty, we heard that there is a growing skills gap between senior conservators who learned treatments of paintings on canvas decades ago and newer museum conservators who need to address pressing problems for paintings in their own collections,” said Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. “Conserving Canvas creates opportunities for international collaboration among conservation professionals, so that critical knowledge can be shared, discussed, and disseminated.”

The inaugural Conserving Canvas grantees includes the National Gallery in London for a major conservation treatment of one of the most prominent canvas paintings in its collection: Anthony van Dyck’s Equestrian Portrait of Charles I (1637-8). Another grantee is Sweden’s National Historical Museums which is organizing a thirteen-day collections-based seminar for up to sixteen conservators and curators to study canvas paintings including Jacob Jordaens’s The Return of the Holy Family from Egypt. Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL) in The Netherlands also receives a large grant to organize an advanced conservation workshop on mist lining, a minimally invasive technique developed to stabilize paintings on canvas.

Paul Ackroyd restoring Anthony van Dyck's <em>Equestrian Portrait of Charles I</em> Photo: The National Gallery, London

Paul Ackroyd restoring Anthony van Dyck’s Equestrian Portrait of Charles I
Photo: The National Gallery, London