Lyrical Lines: Examining two Drawings by Charles Blackman

The preparation of artworks by Gallery Conservators for the exhibition ‘Lure of the Sun: Charles Blackman in Queensland‘ offered an opportunity to observe Blackman’s deliberate selection of certain materials and techniques to depict his subjects. This exhibition explores Blackman’s formative relationships with Queensland artists and writers that were pivotal in his development as one of Australia’s…

APT8: Behind SaVAge K’lub

In the lead-up to APT8, QAGOMA’s conservation staff have applied their skills and knowledge to several artworks that are on display. We share some background information on one of the exhibition’s major works, which required the collaboration of the Queensland Museum. Rosanna Raymond’s APT8 installation SaVAge K’lub is a meeting place, a locus of activity and happenings, set in the…

There’s a soap in my painting!

Surely the last place you would look for the soap is in your favourite oil painting? Not so, as over the past decade conservators and conservation scientists have been investigating the peculiar phenomena of soap formation in the rich, oil-laden layers of paint used in the paintings and masterpieces we love to look at. But…

From the battlefield to the home front: Conservation secrets revealed

George W. (Washington) Lambert was commissioned by the Australian Government and concentrated on set-piece battlefield paintings in Palestine & Turkey. Conservation on one of these works, Walk (An incident at Romani) 1919-22 has involved examination and removal of a discoloured dirt and grime layer from the picture surface. Lambert served as an Official World War One artist…

Watch as we clean Anthony Alder’s ‘Heron’s home’

Watch our time-lapse as Anthony Alder’s original colours are restored in Heron’s home showing the full tonal range and sharpness of colour. A final varnish layer on a finished painting has been an artistic practice for centuries. Artists often apply a transparent varnish to give saturation and their desired level of gloss to the painting, as well…