Conservators Rewarded At British Conservation Awards 2007

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 27 September 2007
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  • Archived article
a photograph showing an Elizabethan doublet in a glass case

The miraculous preservation of a 400 year old silk doublet won the Award for Conservation.

The people who quietly battle away looking after hundreds of years of British history have been recognised at the Conservation Awards 2007.

Held at the British Museum on September 27 2007 and sponsored and supported by Sir Paul McCartney, the awards singled out the people and projects that have done the most to ensure the preservation of our valuable heritage items.

The top two awards, which come with a glass trophy and £15,000, went to contrasting projects - the miraculous preservation of a 400-year-old silk jacket, and a unique university project in the north-east that will ensure the proper preservation of precious documents across the region.

“It is only possible to enjoy and learn from our past because of the ingenuity, dedication and hard work that go into ensuring heritage items are kept and looked after with meticulous care and in the right environment,” said Judging Chair Dame Liz Forgan. “The winners of these Awards are an inspiration to others.”

a photo of a man holding a bowl

Professor Norman Tennent (pictured) and Dr James Nobbs won the Anna Plowden Award for inventing a computerised technique to improve colour-matching in ceramic conservation.

The miraculous preservation of a 400 year old silk doublet won the Award for Conservation. The fragile man’s jacket dating from the 1620s had been painstakingly conserved in a 300-hour operation based on detailed analysis of the material and the way it had been made.

Broadcaster Dan Cruickshank presented the award to Tuula Pardoe of the Scottish Conservation Studio and Sue Payne, curator at Perth Museum, where the doublet is on show for the first time ever. The project was up against stiff competition from the multi-Award winning ss Great Britain and a National Trust project to restore an Elizabethan table carpet.

A trailblazing scheme to spread advice on how to look after book and paper collections across the north-east ensured that Durham University Library picked up the Collections Care Award.

a photo of a woman standing next to a painting in an ornate frame

Rachel Morrison won Student Conservator of the Year for research into cleaning unvarnished paintings at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Courtesy Coutauld Institute

The project, which was funded by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) North East, helped 50 organisations across the region equip themselves with the know-how to preserve vital documents, books and manuscripts in buildings ranging from a castle tower to an industrial unit.

MLA Chair Mark Wood presented the award to Liz Branigan, resident conservator at Durham University Library and Sheila Hingley, Head of heritage collections.

Further awards went to Rachel Morrison who won Student Conservator of the Year for research into cleaning unvarnished paintings at The Courtauld Institute of Art whilst Loyd Grossman presented The National Archives, Kew, with the Digital Preservation Award for the ‘Active preservation at the National Archives: PRONOM and DROID’ project.

Professor Norman Tennent and Dr James Nobbs won the Anna Plowden Award for inventing a computerised technique to improve colour-matching in ceramic conservation, presented by Baroness Sharp of Guildford.

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