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Posts by David Crombie

Victorian Treasures – A conservation perspective

10 March 2017 by David Crombie

Installing Perseus and Andromeda

My colleague Alex Patterson has described in a previous blog how this fantastic display of works from National Museums Liverpool’s collections formed part of a touring exhibition that went to four venues in Japan over 2015 and 2016. This sort of large touring show involves a huge amount of organisation by many different people, and is by far the largest exhibition loan of its kind that I have been involved with during my time at National Museums Liverpool. It is also a big undertaking from a conservation point of view, as there is so much to think about in terms of protecting so many key works.

Read more…

Lady Hamilton restored and rediscovered

30 March 2016 by David Crombie

Lady Hamilton's face

Detail of Lady Hamilton’s face from the painting, after conservation.

In summer 2015 Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun’s painting Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante from the Lady Lever Art Gallery was conserved by Kristina Mandy. Kristina joined National Museums Liverpool as a paintings conservator on a six month contract from May to November 2015. She describes her work on the painting, which you can now see back on display at the Lady Lever Art Gallery:

“During my contract at National Museums Liverpool I had the fantastic opportunity to conserve this beautiful portrait of Lady Hamilton from the early 1790s. Read more…

Cleaning and lining the Falaba painting

22 April 2015 by David Crombie

detail of a ship painting, showing a small dark dirty area of the sky

The Falaba painting during the final stages of cleaning in the sky with nearly all of the dirt layers removed

This is the third blog in a series following the conservation of the huge painting of the Falaba, which is now on display in the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss legacy. In the last post I described the structural treatment of the painting, in order to reattach the loose paint.

Once the structural treatment was complete, the painting was turned over and cleaning could begin once the facing tissue was removed. Cleaning proved quite difficult, as the thick grime layers had previously been covered by the wax facing. Read more…

Structural treatment of the ‘Falaba’ painting

16 April 2015 by David Crombie

large painting lying flat on a table with a protective cover

To stretch it, the protected painting was placed face-up within a wooden loom frame on the multi-purpose lining table before wetted brown paper strips were attached around all four sides. As these were drying, the table was set to provide moisture underneath the canvas to relax it slightly during the stretching process.

Curator Ellie Moffat recently blogged about the centenary of the sinking of the ‘Falaba’ during the First World War. In her blog post she mentioned the large painting of Falaba which has just gone on display in the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy.

Preparing the painting for display was quite a large job, not just because of its size, but also because it was not in a very good condition after suffering water damage many years ago.  Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.