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A man wearing latex gloves and magnifying loupes works on a gold-gilded frame in the QAG Framing Workshop.

Conserving historical frames at QAGOMA

Behind the scenes at QAGOMA, in the Conservation Frames and Furniture Studio, Robert Zilli (Conservation Framer) and Damian Buckley (Conservation Framing Technician) set about the epic task of restoring a 250-year-old carved and gilded pine frame using a blend of innovative and centuries-old methods.

QAGOMA is presently the only gallery in Australia with a framing studio of this kind, where experts both restore and make frames completely in-house. At nearly three metres long, the frame for George Romney's Mrs Yates as the Tragic Muse, Melpomene 1771 presents unique challenges, including using era-appropriate techniques to remove and repair centuries' worth of DIY quick-fixes. 

Conservation of the Romney frame began mid–2022, with completion expected in early 2023. 

QAGOMA Digital Stories are published with the generous support of donors to QAGOMA's Unlock the Collection campaign.