Donation report: Geffrye Museum, August 2014

An extract from the Report for Birkbeck Alumni History of Art Society from the Geffrye Museum August 2014:

The Geffrye Museum was delighted to receive a grant from the Birkbeck Alumni History of Art Society, which we have used to help conserve and re-display paintings, prints and drawings from our collections. The Geffrye’s collection of paintings, prints and drawing focuses mainly on representations of ‘middling’ domestic interiors and gardens. As well as giving detailed information about furnishings and decoration, these pictures through their representation of domestic space provide insights into contemporary attitudes, perceptions and values relating to home and middle-class tastes, behaviours and identities. This is the most extensive collection of its kind focusing on the middle classes. The collections include works by amateur and little-known artists as well as the more famous such as Rebecca Solomon, George Elgar Hicks and John Nash.

Essential works for the re-display in the Reading Room and 20th Century Painting Gallery included framing a number of works to conservation standards to ensure that they are properly supported and protected and more extensive conservation work on one recently acquired watercolour.

An example of the conservation work undertaken was: a recently acquired painting that the Geffrye has now beeen able to display in the Reading Room. The frame was upgraded and fitted with a new low reflect UV filtering acrylic glazing. ‘The Sleeping Soldier’ oil on canvas, 1860–1869, by Henry Nelson O’Neil; at a cost of £400