FRAME | WORK
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 and was completed in early 2024. It is on display in QAG's Gallery 9 until February 2025.
QAGOMA Digital Stories are published with the generous support of donors to QAGOMA's Unlock the Collection campaign.
Digital story related resources
FRAME | WORK (2023) is based on interviews with Robert Zilli (Conservation Framer) and Damian Buckley (Conservation Framing Technician), conducted by Zenobia Frost (Assistant Editor, Digital) in September 2022.
STORY EDITOR | Zenobia Frost
SENIOR EDITOR | Mark Gomes
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION MANAGER | Morgan Strong
SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER | Natasha Harth
ASSISTANT PHOTOGRAPHERS | Chloë Callistemon and Joe Ruckli