Sir Abe Bailey Bequest
Conservation
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Introduction

The collection is stored and exhibited to accepted museum standards. However, as a result of various factors the following factors are pertinent;

  1. On the oil paintings there is evidence of damage to some of the frames and other deterioration that occurred during the War when the collection was sent into the country and kept in storage in unsatisfactory conditions. (These may not have been ideal, but the collection would not have survived as Bailey’s home was destroyed in a direct hit during the London Blitz).
  2. Earlier conservation treatments and retouchings given to the oil paintings have not age well and have become discoloured. These are being revisited and redone using modern materials and techniques.
  3. The natural and ongoing ageing processes of the oil paintings and works on paper have to be arrested. This involves the removal of surface dirt, and the replacement of old yellowing varnish in the case of works in oil. Works on paper are each given individual attention by a professional paper conservator.

Conservation work is focused on several aspects

The Bailey collection may be divided into two main categories. Firstly, there is a predominance of British sporting paintings and works on paper for which it is perhaps best known. Secondly, there are the paintings, prints and drawings in a variety of other genres by British, French and Dutch old masters. This area of the collection includes a fair number of portraits by artists such as Sir Thomas Lawrence, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Sir William Beechey and Sir Henry Raeburn. The Bailey collection as a whole is mainly British, but includes landscapes by 17th-century French and Dutch artists such as Gaspard Dughet and Mattheus Wijtmans.

Ongoing funds made available by the Bailey Trust have made possible the treatment of a number of paintings and works on paper.

This website complements a special conservation display of works which received conservation treatment at Iziko: South African National Gallery. For further details about the conservation work and documentation of works by these and other artists featured in the Bequest, please click News.


Download Reports

Download the 2014 Conservation Report (format: PDF, size: 4mb): click here.

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