Harvard Art’s Susan and Allison Jackson took a weeklong trip to London in March 2013 to attend the Institute of Conservation’s “Conserving Context” conference. Held at the Wallace Collection, the conference explored how object treatments relate to collections and settings.
The trip provided the Jacksons with an opportunity to visit conservators, frame makers, and museums to carry out planning and research for various projects, including Allison’s work to re-create a painting’s 14th-century frame for the Harvard Art Museums. They visited Isabella Kocum, a frame conservator at the National Gallery of London, to learn how she reconstructed a similar frame, and went to the Courtauld Institute of Art to see the painting’s original companion panels. The Jacksons went to John Davies Framing, specialists in period frame reproduction, and Paul Mitchell Ltd, an antique frame studio that provides comprehensive picture framing and conservation services. While at Mitchell’s studio, the Jacksons exchanged best practices about techniques and materials with staff and met with frame historian Lynn Roberts.
To round out their frame-themed London tour, Susan and Allison explored the city’s art stores, where they picked up some sculpting tools they’ll use back home at Harvard Art’s conservation studio for creating ornament and filling gesso losses.