The Conservation Benefactors raise funds for research and conservation projects on the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ collection and the purchase of new conservation equipment that we could not otherwise undertake or afford.
In addition to the acknowledgements extended to all Foundation members, you’ll be invited to three to four fundraising events a year held by Conservation Benefactors, such as private and corporate collection viewings and exhibition-related events at the Art Gallery.
Recent conservation projects funded through the Foundation include:
The Five Senses, 1670s, by Carlo Cignani and workshop. One of the Gallery’s most important old masters is back on display in the grand courts following an extensive conservation treatment of both the painting and its magnificent frame. Supported by Manny and Gail Pohl. Read more about the project.
restoration of the gallery’s mysterious 16th-century portrait King Henry VIII. Supported by the Conservation Benefactors most notably, Dorothy R Spry (in memory of), Hamish Parker, Leonard Groat and Kenneth Reed AM. Read more about the project.
The Offerings of War and The Offerings of Peace, 1923, were created by English sculptor Gilbert Bayes. These two familiar figures on horseback received some much-needed conservation treatment. Supported by the Minister’s Stone Program. Read more about the project.
conservation of massive one-tonne sculpture Flippant flurry, 1979. The work by Clement Meadmore – one of Australia’s most important and highest profile sculptors – was made structurally stable, rust was removed, and a black satin finish applied. Read more about this Macquarie Group supported project: Part I and Part II.
conservation treatment of an important and diverse group of 45 maquettes by significant Australian sculptor Margel Hinder. These works provide a fascinating insight into the sculptural thinking of one of Australia's most significant modernist artists. Supported by the Conservation Benefactors.
assessment and conservation of key works of the Gallery’s Pacific Art collection for the Plumes and Pearlshells exhibition including this neck ornament made by the Baruya people made from twelve scrotum of marsupial tree-dwellers. Read more about this Conservation Benefactors funded project.
a three-year traineeship in reproduction decorative frame-making between Master Reproduction Frame Maker David Butler and AGNSWs Tom Langlands (2013-2017). Supported by the Clitheroe Foundation and the Nelson Meers Foundation. Read more about the traineeship.
the Victorian Watercolours exhibition was the subject of an extensive conservation project that received significant support from the Women’s Art Group and several conservation benefactors. With almost ninety works going on display and even more included in the catalogue, this project involved treatment of the watercolours and their ornate gilded frames as well as the creation of new historically accurate reproduction frames for a small group of key works.
A view of Otaheite Pehan is a Tahitian landscape by British painter John Webber (1751–1793). For many years, we’ve been unable to exhibit the Gallery’s only painting by an artist of Captain James Cook’s last voyage to the Pacific due to the poor condition of both the painting and frame. Read more about this Conservation Benefactors funded project.
Colour music by Roy de Maistre, c1934, gouache on piano roll. Major treatment included XRF analysis of pigments, paper tear repairs and reversible inpainting to reduce the visual impact of areas of paint loss. Supported by Friends of Conservation. Read more about the project.
preserving six of the late-1800s posters by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. As many of the works were large in format and required re-lining, a combination of Western and Asian lining techniques was employed. Read more about this Conservation Benefactors funded project.
treatment and rehousing of sketchbooks by Lloyd Rees. This multi-stage project was supported in 2014 by Patricia James, and in 2011 and 2012 by the Friends of Conservation.
Towards a flexible future: managing time-based media artworks in collections, an AGNSW organised and hosted symposium and workshop, bringing together staff from AGNSW, Tate and SLNSW, local artists and independent contributors. Supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation, Sofitel and EY. AGNSW has received support for its ground-breaking work in time-based art conservation from Conservation Benefactors, the Women’s Art Group and Geoff Ainsworth.
the conservation of Arthur Streeton's 1894 painting The Gloucester Buckets and its frame was undertaken during the COVID-19 lockdown. Supported by Peter and Judy Howarth and AGNSW Conservation Benefactors. Two hours of treatment was filmed daily and progressively uploaded to YouTube.
a three-year scientific postgraduate position within the Conservation Department researching the use of enamel house paint by Sidney Nolan. Supported by Friends of Conservation in partnership with an Australian Research Council project ‘The twentieth century in paint’. Read more about this research in Sidney Nolan: The Artist’s Materials written by Head of Paintings Conservation, Paula Dredge.
Corporate sponsors also support conservation projects such as:
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project: conservation treatment of WC Piguenit’s The flood in the Darling 1890/1895, which needed cleaning and repairs to the canvas, and a major frame restoration. Read more about the project.
BNP Paribas Bank: treatment of Frans Snyders’ painting The boar hunt, c1650s, and its frame, which uncovered the original 17th-century composition under an early restoration.
Hyperion Asset Management: conservation treatment of the William Strutt painting David’s first victory, 1868, and the making of a new reproduction frame.
Bank of China: senior practitioners from the Palace Museum shared their scientific expertise with AGNSW staff in the specialist areas of lacquerware and textiles. Originally, this professional exchange with our Palace Museum colleagues was to happen in person, until the global COVID-19 pandemic intervened. Read more about the project.
To join and pay by cheque or EFT payment