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Paintings Conservator

We asked a Paintings Conservator at National Museums Liverpool why and how they chose this as a career

conservator treating a painting

"I first realised I wanted to be a painting conservator when I was about 13. We lived in a beautiful Victorian villa with stone urns outside overlooking the sea, it still had mosaic floors, a sun lounge on the first floor and a coach house in the garden. All of the windows had stained glass in the top third.

We sold the house to a man who turned out to be a property developer and he tore all of the period features out including the windows and turned it into two flats. I was devastated and as an over-enthusiastic teenager, vowed that I would try and never let that happen again.

So I looked into ways of saving our heritage, and on a family trip to Florence saw painting conservators in a gallery conserving a massive painting. Having ruled out wall paintings and any kind of building restoration (too cold and too many ladders/scaffolding) I decided that painting conservation was the career for me.

A History of Art degree and MA in Victorian Art and Architecture later and I got on a course at the Hamilton Kerr Institute to become a painting conservator. The course took three years plus a fourth year as an intern. Following this I took and internship at National Museums Liverpool and shortly after this applied for and accepted my current position in 2002, I became an accredited conservator in 2006."