Painting conservation

Ramsay painting conservation Cushla
Painting treatment

The Paintings Department comprises a team of qualified and experienced painting conservators dedicated to the preservation and treatment of painted artworks. Our conservators are expert at treating both oil and acrylic paintings on supports ranging from canvas, wood, metal and glass, to in-situ murals and painted architectural surfaces.

Our highly skilled staff draws influence from a breadth of collective experience attained within both private and major public institutions, and have held positions in the UK, the USA, Europe, Canada, New Zealand and South-East Asia, in addition to Australia.

Our past treatment projects range from European icons and altarpieces on wood panels, to European and colonial portraits, to paintings by important nineteenth century Australian artists including Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, Sir John Longstaff and Emanuel Phillips Fox. We are also specialists in the treatment of modern and contemporary artworks by noteworthy Australian artists including Howard Arkely, John Brack, Jeffrey Smart and John Olsen.

An important area in our expertise is the treatment of Australian Indigenous paintings, including paintings on bark supports, early Papunya works and contemporary synthetic polymer paintings.

Ramsay analysis

Available conservation services include:

  • removal of discoloured varnishes and old restorations
  • surface cleaning to remove dirt, nicotine, fly-spots and stains
  • consolidating loose and flaking paint
  • repairing tears in canvases
  • flattening to reduce canvas distortions and dents
  • removing old linings and re-lining canvas paintings
  • re-joining broken panel paintings
  • in-painting losses
  • cleaning mould
  • re-varnishing paintings
  • re-housing paintings to conservation standards
  • mounting bark paintings

Painting conservators can also carry out surveys of collections of paintings in private or institutional collections. Following assessment of the condition of the collection and the storage and display environments, conservators can recommend how best to preserve the collection.

Staff hold certificates in: working at heights; general construction (white ticket) and elevated work platform operation.

We are also able to provide technical analyses of paintings for attribution assessment purposes.


Our paintings conservators have ongoing research interests within the University of Melbourne, including the investigation of modern painting materials and methods, the materials and art practice of nineteenth century Australian artists, additives in modern synthetic varnishes and safer methods for removal of discoloured overpaint.

Contact us

Have a painting in need of conservation? Get in touch.

Contact us