The Museum’s conservators are delighted to share their knowledge and give advice as far as it is possible. If you have questions for them, you are welcome to write them in the form below.
We will very shortly open a blog on the restoration of Jordaens’ masterpiece, giving the opportunity to follow the process and ask questions about it, even though you may not be able to drop in to the Museum.
However, the conservators are also happy to answer questions about conservation in general within the following fields:
Art on paper
Research into conservation
A degree in conservation
Conservators work at the National Gallery of Denmark
Links to further knowledge
How can I repair or conserve my painting?
There is rarely a quick-fix option. As treatments are object-specific, we recommend that you contact an independent conservator directly. For more information contact:
Nordisk Konservator Forbund
Do you put new paint on losses in the painting?
The answer is both yes and no. It depends on the type of ‘flaw’.
If the original colour is completely missing, the conservator will refill the lacunae. A basic tone, which is slightly lighter than the original, is applied directly over the filling, often in water-colour or gouache.
One or more thin layers of paint, consisting of pigments with synthetic resin as the binder, are applied on top. The resin could be Mowilith 50, a polyvinyl acetate, Paraloid B72, an ethyl-methacrylate-copolymer; Gamblin Conservation Colours, a polymeric resin consisting of aldehydes, could also be used. These synthetic resins will be easier to remove in the future and also change colour very slowly in contrast to oil- or varnish colours, for example.
Another ‘flaw’ in the painting could be that a thin glaze was accidentally cleaned off many years ago during an earlier restoration, or has simply lost its colour due to blanching by light. As we cannot know how intense the colour of this wash may have been, we do not normally attempt to replace it with a new one. This would involve too much guesswork.
I will be visiting your European Frames Exhibition soon. I would be very intersted in visiting your frame conservation studio. Would that be possible?
Unfortunately we do not have a frame conservation studio in our department of conservation. Our conservators carry out treatments on frames when necessary often during treatment of a painting. In our department of conservation we have a studio for paintings conservation, paper conservation and conservation of modern and contemporary art. I hope you will enjoy your visit and the frame exhibition. Please do not hesitate to contact us again for further questions.
A DEGREE IN CONSERVATION
I would like to be a conservator. What training should I choose?
In Denmark, The School of Conservation provides training in Graphic Art, Cultural History, Pictorial Art, Monumental Art or Natural History. The School of Conservation offers a three-year undergraduate course in conservation (BSc) and a further two-year master’s course (master’s degree). The School also offers a three-year post-graduate research course (PhD). For further information visit the website of The School of Conservation.
CONSERVATORS' WORK AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF DENMARK
What do conservators do at the National Gallery of Denmark?
Conservators support one of the core purposes of the National Gallery of Denmark: to take care of its enormously varied collection of works of art as well as works on loan or deposited with us. The work ranges from charcoal drawings, sculptures of plastic, pictures painted with egg, and to plaster casts.
Besides conserving and restoring works of art, the conservators also examine and document the artists’ materials and techniques employed in the production of each work. This may involve detective work to discover techniques and materials which are no longer used today. Similarly it is also necessary to research into modern materials to understand how their aging processes can be slowed.
Conservators work closely together with conservation scientists to predict long-term change in artworks by recording their condition and registering even minute changes in their structure and appearance.
Conservators make recommendations based on research and the specification of best practice as to low risk methods of handling, packing, storing and transportation of works of art. They search for new ways of preserving art while at the same time making it as accessible as possible.
Read more about conservators’ work