varnsh removal
Angela Geary

Fine Art Restoration

Over twenty five years experience. Client focused, approachable and accessible.


21st November 2015

Conservation mounting: floating problems

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31st August 2015

Rust stain on a compass card

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15th June 2015

Mayoral signature documents

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Angela Geary Fine Art Restoration

Our core practice

We deliver expert and highly skilled fine art restoration, conservation services. Our core practice specialisms include easel paintings, art works on paper, archival documents and frames. We serve a wide range of museums and private clients in the UK. Work is carried out in our headquarters studio, based in the City of Wells, Somerset and on location to suit our clients’ requirements. We have additional capacity to accommodate large works and long term projects at our gallery studio near Wincanton.

Consultation services

Condition appraisals, technical examinations, environmental control advice, condition reports, with recommended conservation treatments and quotations are offered in our consultation service. Specialist fine art display, lighting and storage advice is also available. Some of our clients find it helpful to approach us for pre-auction sales advice.

We welcome studio visits  by appointment and offer free consultations. Site visits can can be arranged to suit our clients’ needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need urgent advice for damaged artworks. Complete our request form and we will be in touch to  arrange your free consultation.

Request your free expert consultation

Our approach is: to be approachable!

We aim to make our conservation and restoration services accessible to as wide a range of clients as possible. We are always happy to explain the processes and options involved for treatment in a clear, straightforward way.

While we have over 25 years experience in the treatment of works by artists of historical significance, including Impressionist, Tudor and Modern artworks, we are enthusiastic to tackle projects of any kind, any scale by artists known and unknown.

You value your artworks: we understand

We are very much aware of the personal value that our clients often place in paintings, documents and other artefacts that may have been in their families for generations. We can guarantee an empathetic approach to serving our clients needs and our sensitive care of all the artworks we treat.

Advising and quoting

We will take time to discuss with you the options for the care of your artwork and your aims for the outcome of it’s conservation. Our quotations are made on the basis of the time and materials involved in the best treatment approach. We will keep you updated as treatment progresses, usually around the midpoint stage. If you have questions at any stage, we will be more than happy to answer them.

A payment on account may be requested when you accept our quotation. We are pleased to accept a full range of payment options, including BACs and credit or debit card payments. Call us today for a free consultation.

Our clients

We serve museums and collections, including the National Trust, and many private clients regionally in Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, South Wales, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. We also provide fine art restoration services to colections in London and the South East. London based clients benefit from our regular consultation visits and fully insured artwork transportation. Our small works insured postal service is used by our clients throughout the UK. This option is particularly suited to posters and works on paper, archival documents and our digital services.

Easel paintings

Easel paintings

We provide a full easel painting restoration and conservation treatment range for paintings of all periods and mediums.  Treating oils, acrylics and mixed media on supports such as canvas, board and panel, we work to exacting standards and can tackle even severe damage successfully. We also offer our clients pre-auction sales condition advice and technical examination services, including UV and infrared photography.


Easel painting
Conservation framing

Conservation framing

Fine art conservation framing is provided by Paisley & Pilgrim at AGFAR. We are pleased to provide outstanding and affordable archival and museum grade fine art framing. We offer the the highest standard of art conservation framing, which we believe provides the best long-term protection and conservation options for your valued artworks and irreplaceable archival documents.

Paper conservation

Paper conservation

Paper conservation demands a careful and skilled approach. We offer a full range of treatment options for watercolours, antique and modern fine art prints and drawings. We also welcome archival materials, historic posters, letters, maps and charts. While archival preservation skills are an aspect of the delicate specialism of conserving works of art on paper, it is critical to approach treatments in a sensitive way that will not adversely effect value and retain the artist's original intentions.

Paper conservation
Archival documents

Archival documents

Our approach to treating archival materials is conservation focused. The objective is to reintegrate, stabilise and preserve the existing fabric of your precious document or manuscript. We treat, conserve and provide preventive care advice for archival documents of all kinds. Typical items we treat for our clients include: historic documents, family letters, maps and charts, legal parchment or paper documents, posters, photographs and paper ephemera.

Archival documents
Virtual restoration

Virtual restoration

In our virtual restoration services, we apply unique image recovery techniques developed in our Director's previous Doctoral research. We can make digital reconstructions from faded, stained and damaged documents or artworks. We also provide a facsimile reproduction services for letters, drawings, watercolour paintings or any document or artwork on paper. Archival grade papers and printing inks are used in our facsimiles, to ensure longevity. Our extensive background in art conservation and knowledge of historical materials, makes us uniquely placed to create highly convincing replicas.

Virtual restoration
Collection survey

Collection survey

Does you collection need a health check? We can visit museums and private clients to carry out a collection survey of any scale. Based on our examination, we will make recommendations for treatment, conservation framing and best practice storage or display. We also provide free virtual collection mini-surveys. Simply email us photographs of your collection to request this option.

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Easel painting conservation

painting restorationWhy do paintings need to be conserved?

Over time, dust and dirt accumulate on the surface of paintings. Discoloured varnishes and old restorations may also lead to a darkened and disfigured appearance. Flaking paint, holes, tears and deformed canvas bulges are common issues. Sometimes, more severe damage from fire and flood, are problems that require the attention of a specialist restorer conservator. Sadly, paintings are often damaged during house removals and shipping transit. The good news is that we can usually treat even extensively damaged paintings very effectively.

Approaches to easel painting restoration

We use well-established, stable and reversible conservation materials and techniques. Through sensitively considered treatment, an authentic appearance to the artist’s original intentions can be restored and conserved. Preserving value as well as the aesthetic presentation of the painting is critical in paintings conservation. Typical treatments for canvas paintings include tear repair, canvas strip-lining and, occasionally, full linings. Panel paintings can require stabilisation and structural mending. Surface cleaning and varnish removal are very common treatments for paintings of all periods. Typically, after varnish removal, a new non-yellowing conservation varnish is applied. Restorations to paint losses are carried out with stable and reversible media and pigments. Care is taken to limit restorations to the region of loss and these are applied  over an isolating layer of conservation varnish.

Whilst some art conservator/restorers outsource structural treatments to specialist liners, we have our own in-house skills, experience and capacity to perform full linings and other structural treatments, as needed, allowing a fully-integrated and cost-effective service for the care and treatment of your painting.

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Paper conservation

paper conservationWe provide expert and skilled services in paper conservation for fine art. While archival preservation skills are an aspect of the delicate specialism of conserving works of art on paper, it is critical to approach treatments in a sensitive way that will not adversely affect value and will retain the artist’s original intentions.

What does paper conservation treatment involve?

Treatments for works of fine art on paper typically may involve structural repair and some form of cleaning. We use dry surface cleaning techniques to remove dirt, dust and marks from the surfaces of paper artworks. Wet treatments are also used in cleaning, when appropriate. These can be applied locally, and also by immersion washing, to treat water damage stains, acidity disclouration, foxing and mildew marks. In some cases, treatments are carried out on our special vacuum table, which uses suction to assisst in drawing stains out form the paper.

Repairing tears and infilling lost areas of paper are very common treatments. More extensively damaged artworks may benefit from lining with specialist conservation tissues. Archival quality matting, moisture barrier backings, conservation framing and storage are all significant issues for the conservation of artworks on paper. In addition to our treatment services, advice can be given for the preventive care, display and archival storage of individual items and larger collections.

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Archival conservation

paper conservationWe treat, conserve and provide preventive care advice for archival documents of all kinds. Our approach to treating archival materials is conservation focused, with the objective of reintegrating, stabilising and preserving the existing fabric of the document. Items we treat for our clients include: historic documents, family letters and maps. We are experienced in the specilised treatment of historic legal parchments, such as investiture documents and seals. Posters, music manuscripts, photographs and most paper ephemera can ve conserved and restored for display, archive or to continue as functional used objects.

Archival documents: preventive care & storage advice

Long-term storage and environmental conditions are imporant considerations for concerving your archival materials. We can advise on and provide museum grade archival storage envelopes, boxes and folios as part of our service. Our small works by post option may be suitable for your archival conservation needs. This service is used by our clients UK wide and internationally.

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Virtual restoration

Why is virtual restoration needed?

Writing inks can be very prone to fading, particularly when exposed to direct sunlight. Paradoxically, some modern inks, from the latter part of the 20th century onwards, can be much more light fugitive than earlier inks, such as Bistre, India and Iron Gall inks. Archival documents, letters, drawings and signatures written in ink can fade significantly over time. Preventive conservation measures including UV light protection, maintaining low light levels, alkali buffering storage and conservation framing can all help to delay and minimise fading and many other forms of degradation for artworks and archival materials.

How does virtual restoration work?

But what if the worst has already happened and an important letter or drawing has lost inked elements due to fading? Fortunately, using advanced digital reconstruction techniques it is often possible to recover the original appearance of ink signatures, handwritten inscriptions and drawings, even when these are very faded to the naked eye.Even extreme cases of fading, or other damage, may leave sufficient traces to be virtually restored or reconstructed digitally. In such cases, our use of forensic image analysis techniques, such as infrared or ultraviolet imaging, can be often be effective.

Facsimilies and replicas for display

With this information, a facsimile version of the original document can be made with the restored written or drawn elements in place. The facsimile can be put on display to be enjoyed, while the original is kept safely in archival storage, minimising the risk of further deterioration. This can also be a useful approach with any very valuable documents or artefacts that cannot be displayed in an open environment for security reasons.

In some instances, it may be appropriate to place restored facsimile elements directly in situ with the original work. Handwritten elements on photographs can be “restored” in this way, provided care is taken to make sure it is safely reversible from the original surface.
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