The Care and Treatment of Portrait Miniatures

A workshop presented by Alan Derbyshire,
Victoria and Albert Museum

Hosted by Library and Archives, Canada
15-19 October 2007

Maria Bedynski, one of the organizers of the workshop and Senior Conservator of Works of Art on Paper, Library and Archives Canada, shows participants miniatures in the LAC collectionClaire Titus was one of a dozen participants to take part in the 5 day miniature workshop sponsored by the Getty Foundation, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Canadian Conservation Institute and others. The workshop took place at the Gatineau Preservation Centre of Library and Archives Canada.

Instructor, Alan Derbyshire, assessing treatment options of miniaturesThe New Brunswick Museum has a significant collection of miniatures on a variety of substrates (ivory, paper and glass) and in a variety of formats (framed, in lockets or un-framed). The workshop provided a unique opportunity to examine portrait miniatures under the guidance of experts and to learn about un-framing and treating them.

Detail of a miniature through a microscope showing a half cleaned miniature surfaceAlan Derbyshire is an internationally renowned conservator who is the Head of Section, Paper, Books and Paintings of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, responsible for the conservation of many of the early jewels of the English art form. Mr. Derbyshire led the workshop program and shared his knowledge and experience in the treatment of miniatures through lectures and hands-on sessions in the conservation labs of the LAC.

Claire Titus consolidates flaking paint on a portrait miniature Conservator’s tools for unframing complicated miniature lockets Participants try their hand at painting a miniature Participants try their hand at painting a miniature Components of a eighteenth century miniature frame