ERICA DEVINE Museum-standard advice on the care of  fine and decorative art
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Historic clothing researched, recorded and safely stored

Works of art require particular care in order to maintain them in optimum condition. However, whilst we may spend vast amounts on acquiring rare and precious objects, we seldom invest in the specialist care and maintenance that they require. Instead, we typically entrust their care to a well-intentioned but, regrettably, misguided member of staff who can cause incremental damage over many years and sometimes in an instant [example].Erica provides customized on-site training for house staff to ensure they employ museum-standard housekeeping techniques in caring for collections and interiors.

Exhibition Dressing

Dressing an exhibition combines the art of arranging objects so that they are correctly interpreted and beautifully presented, with the craft of making custom-made mounts so that they are safely displayed and supported.  Engaging a professional exhibition dresser is an essential finishing touch as poor display choices reduce the visual impact of a collection and can also result in damage. Erica can advise on the best display methods for your collection.

Malahide Castle Bedroom Suite


Waterford Museum of Treasures

Collection Audit

Training of Housekeeping Staff

A collection audit compromises an assessment of the condition of individual pieces, how they are displayed or stored and how they are maintained. This serves to highlight any potential threats to the collection such as environmental threats from light, heat, humidity, pollution, pest attack and poor mounting or security. This also provides a useful benchmark assessment of its condition at a particular point in time.  Erica  provides independent advise on the condition of an object prior to purchase.  

Intensive short Course on the Care of Decorative & Fine Art

Erica has many years’ experience teaching and can offer a three day intensive course throughout the UK and Ireland on the care of decorative and fine arts for societies and institutions that combines a Powerpoint presentation with hands-on participation by attendees.  A comprehensive set of handouts are provided and prior specialist knowledge is not required.  Participants learn how and what objects are made of, how that material ages and how to safely handle, clean, display, mount and store objects. Classes are very lively and participants are encouraged to ask many questions in a positive interactive environment. Class sizes are limited to 25 participants. Courses should generally be booked approximately two months in advance to ensure availability.

Day One: Morning Lecture - The Care of Furniture and Lacquer Ware

Day One: Afternoon Lecture - The Care of Books, Documents and Photographs

Day Two: Morning Lecture - The Care of Textiles - Clothing and Furnishing

Day Two: Afternoon Lecture - The Care of Paintings and Frames

Day Three: Morning Lecture - The Care of Metals, Scientific Instruments and Clocks

Day Three: Afternoon Lecture - The Care of Ceramics and Glass

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“Just a note of thanks for your wonderful conservation course.  You are really gifted with great presentation skills not to mention your vast and seemingly endless knowledge of your subjects.  I, and everyone I spoke to, thoroughly enjoyed the sessions” - Toni McDonald, Jan 2015