Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 6 x 1.5 hrs
Practical 3 x 2 hrs
Other Visit to Museum Conservation Departments


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. appreciate the importance of monitoring sensitive and vulnerable material;
2. discuss issues specifically related to the conservation of easel paintings;
3. document the various stages of conservation to provide subsequent conservators with a record of the object and its conservation history;
4. have an insight into the cleaning and treatment of paintings and frames;
5. articulate ideas about the role of the easel paintings conservator.


The module is aimed at students who may be contemplating a career in museums or art galleries. An art curator or exhibition organiser would benefit from a good understanding of some of the concerns and processes in easel painting conservation. Knowledge of the criteria by which to choose a conservator, and the qualifications and accreditation processes a fully trained conservator should posses, would also be valuable.

Brief description

The module aims to provide an understanding of the materials and techniques employed in easel painting conservation. It explains the history and use of different conservation techniques and materials. It outlines the training and accreditation processes in the conservation profession and also introduces ethical issues in conservation.


Lecture / Demonstrations (1? hour):
Techniques of Conservation: lining and panel mending
Techniques of Conservation: cleaning Techniques of Conservation filling and retouching
Techniques of Conservation: conservation documentation Ethical Issues and Controversies
The Scientific Examination of Paintings

Practicals (2 hour):
Surface cleaning
Conservation framing

Conservation studio of the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
and/or National Conservation Centre, National Museums and Galleries of Merseyside, Liverpool

Transferable skills

Bomford, David Conservation of Paintings National Gallery, London 1997 Caple, Chris Conservation Skills Routledge, London 2000 ICOM, Manual on the Conservation of Paintings Archetype, London 1997 Villers, C. (ed) Lining Paintings Archetype, London 2003 Lining and Backing, UKIC conference papers, London 1995 Hackney, S. (ed) et al Dirt and Pictures Separated UKIC, London 1990 Retouching and Filling ABPR conference papers, London 2000 and the Technical Bulletins of the National Gallery, London

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Development and encouragement of communication skills via practicals, discussion, and peer critiques.
Improving own Learning and Performance Development and encouragement of a self-critical approach and creative thinking, working through practicals, projects and journal work, with regard to a number of conservation practices. This culminates series of practical exercises that examine how conservators work.
Information Technology Word processing of essay and research via the websites of professional bodies: Museums Association, etc.
Personal Development and Career planning Provides insight for students into the materials, techniques, studio practice and ethics of conservators. It is appropriate for students considering careers in conservation or in museums and art galleries.
Problem solving Development of practical skills in conservation techniques, solving problems through an analysis, evaluation and interpretation of oil paintings.
Research skills Develop a programme of research and self-directed project/journal work that provides evidence of an investigation and evaluation of the theory, practice, history and technical skills easel painting conservation.
Team work Development and encouragement of teamwork and student interaction will occur within practicals, discussions, and critiques


This module is at CQFW Level 6