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Art conservation in action on 23 and 25 June

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Members of the public are invited to join students and staff to see conservation in action on the University’s art collection on Thursday and Saturday 23 and 25 June.

Thanks to a grant of over £4000 from Museums Galleries Scotland, the university was able to carry out a review of the condition of works on paper – watercolours, prints, pastels and others – which revealed that 20 works require immediate attention. These include works by Graham Sutherland, Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, Phillip Reeves, Elizabeth Frink, John Hoyland, Norman Ackroyd and Ian Fearn.

The Museums Galleries Scotland grant will enable restoration of these works and the public is invited to observe the conservation techniques in action and ask questions about the care of collections.

The conservators will demonstrate how to deal with discolouration from light and previous mounting, Sellotape stains, water staining and re-adhesion to mounts.

Jane Cameron, Curator of the University Art Collection, says: “Over half of the collection is prints and works on paper which were wisely acquired in the early days of the University by its first Principal, Dr Tom Cottrell, and his art committee.

“Preventing the deterioration of works of art is an important element of conservation and a responsibility that the University takes very seriously.

“We have invited Helen Creasy, Conservator with the Scottish Conservation Studio, to carry out the work, assisted by four newly qualified conservation students from Northumbria University.”

Anyone can view the conservators at work on two Open Days on 23 and 25 June. There is no need to prebook and no charge.

There will also be opportunities to tour the University Art Collection on 23 and 25 June, with free tours starting at 11am and 2pm on each day. Each tour will take one hour and should be booked in advance.

To find out more about the Open Days on 23 and 25 June, or to book a tour of the University Art Collection on these days, email

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