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The haphazard methods of art restoration over the past 400 years

Christine Sitwell and Sarah Staniforth (eds), Studies in the history of painting restoration

Ms Sitwell and Ms Staniforth of the National Trust have assembled, with the speakers at a London symposium of 1996, a handsome volume of postprints. The papers, many of which describe the history of the haphazard and arbitrary methods used in Britain over the past four centuries to tidy up pictures in country homes and galleries, substantiate the need for the creation of the organisation described in the 1930s volume from ICOM (see above). A witty and welcome addition to the papers presented at the symposium is Jenny Rose’s “An investigation into the domestic care of paintings in English country houses in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.” If fault is to be found with the book, it is its anglocentricity.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Christine Sitwell and Sarah Staniforth (eds), Studies in the history of painting restoration'