The grant funding will support upgrades to critical art conservation instruments as well as the infrastructure development needed to care for the institution’s collections as part of the ongoing Courtauld Connects project.

“These grants will enable our internationally respected Department of Conservation to make best use of technology and new spaces to push forward the boundaries of art conservation research and preserve fragile artworks for future generations,” notes Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing director at The Courtauld.

“Most importantly, we will use the awards to help make that knowledge accessible to more people, from academics, curators and students, to the wider public.”

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Areas of investment

The Courtauld will use the Arts & Humanities Research Council grants to:

  • Upgrade and refit The Courtauld’s collection stores in Somerset House
  • Create technology-enabled study spaces for artworks, including a new Prints and Drawings Study Room, Technical Examination area and an Object Study Room
  • Make mechanical improvements to better care for and examine works of art
  • Acquire new instruments to generate analytical data, molecular and elemental maps of works of art and unique paint samples – informing conservation research and practice for easel and wall paintings worldwide
  • Carry out vital equipment upgrades to better support The Courtauld’s world-renowned art conservation research

CapCo will, according to Professor Christopher Smith, executive chair of the Arts & Humanities Research Council, provide a “landmark investment in our galleries, libraries, archives, museums and special collections”.

The organisations which will receive funding from this initiative “form the backbone of our heritage economy and act as a vital resource and source of inspiration for many diverse researchers”, he adds, citing their journey towards a “sustainable and innovative future” as the motivating force behind the programme.

Perpetuating The Courtauld Department of Conservation’s work is no small factor in the decision to support the institution. Alongside its leading education offer, the site has played a key role in recent conservation projects sites in China, India and Bhutan, as well as collaborations with national bodies such as the National Trust, English Heritage, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, and Tate.


More information about conservation at The Courtauld can be found here.

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