Funding windfall for precious artworks
We can protect more than 100 historic artworks for future generations to enjoy thanks to a £3m gift from our US membership affiliate The Royal Oak Foundation.
This vital funding will help conserve some of the rarest and most valuable items in the collections we care for.
The first objects we'll get to work on include a suit of Japanese samurai armour, a set of elaborately carved 17th-century chairs and a historical portrait with an intriguing secret.
We're excited to announce that we'll be using this additional funding over a five-year period to carry out specialist conservation work on a wide range of collection items at the places we care for.
" We are looking forward to starting on the next phase of our collections conservation work and over the next five years we expect to dramatically improve the condition and appearance of more than 100 highly significant works of art, and items of historic furniture, books and textiles."
The objects in need of attention will be taken to our conservation studio based at Knole in Kent. The funding will also allow us to carry out research, buy additional conservation equipment and strengthen the studio's expertise in the restoration of paintings. To recognise the contributions made by The Royal Oak Foundation, which has been supporting us since 1973 with gifts totalling millions of pounds, we will rename the studio after them.
Once coronavirus restrictions have been lifted and The Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio is open to the public, you'll be able to see our specialists at work on the collection items and learn more about the techniques they use to restore them.
" A gift of this size would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors, especially those who provided legacy gifts in their estate plans."
As Europe’s largest conservation charity, we look after more than one million objects, ranging from fine and decorative art works and furniture to textiles, dresses, books and ceramics. Looking after such a varied collection requires specialist expertise, time and money. It costs £5,000 for 125 hours of a textile conservator’s time to repair a tapestry and £450 to restore a damaged porcelain figure.
Sadly, we don't have the resources to conserve every item that urgently needs it. The pandemic has also had a massive impact on our finances, meaning we face greater funding challenges than ever before.
- £10 could conserve a square inch of a painting
- £25 could fund materials to help conserve the paintings in our care
- £40 could help conserve a ceramic bowl in situ
- £75 could fund two hours of expert textile conservation work