Much of the damage to paintings occurs due to poor framing: either through incorrect fitting of the painting in its frame, weak frame structure or the wrong hanging fixtures. Each painting and frame will have slightly different requirements. We would always endeavour to preserve as much evidence of historic fixtures and fittings as possible without compromising the safety of the object. Frame conservation-restoration is carried out in house by an experienced frame conservator.
On the occasion when a painting needs to travel for loan, reversible preventive solutions can help protect the object in transit. These may include a temporary “camy lining”, a solid insert or a bespoke backing to minimize the impact of vibration and risk of impact damage to the canvas, especially if it is unlined. Paintings on wooden supports can be particularly vulnerable due to the wood’s ability to shrink and expand with changes of humidity. This can be mitigated by ensuring the painting is properly fitted and supported in the frame, glazing and housing the painting inside a microclimate travel frame. Please have a look at our painting packing video in the Loan Preparation tab.