30 Jan 2023

Conserving the EES Collections

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we reached our fundraising goal in order to urgently conserve items in the Society's collections.

Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, we reached our fundraising goal for the Society’s Conserving the Collections Appeal in 2022!

With these funds, we have already been able to conserve the Society’s largest painting, a watercolour by Howard Carter painted at Deir el-Bahari (EES.ART.224). This has enabled us to display the painting at the ‘Visions of Ancient Egypt’ exhibition at the Sainsbury’s Centre late in 2022. If you didn’t manage to see the newly conserved painting there, never fear! The exhibition is moving to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle from 28 January to 29 April 2023 where you can see this fantastic painting alongside other EES watercolours. After this, we look forward to welcoming the painting back to the EES London Office where you can, of course, see it in our new Learning Hub.


The newly conserved and reframed watercolour (EES.ART.224) hanging in the ‘Visions of Ancient Egypt’ exhibition at the Sainsbury’s Centre, Norwich.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, University of Oxford, our next step is to conserve and remount the Society's largest papyrus (P.Oxy.LV 3804-05). This record of the estate of the Apion family desperately needs to be removed from its current Perspex mount, cleaned, and rehoused in new glass framing. Once complete, the papyrus will be protected and made available to researchers for consultation.


The Society’s largest (nearly 3 metres long!) papyrus P.Oxy.LV 3804-3805 in need of conservation and reframing.

Later in 2023, we will send our Egyptian Revival chair to specialist conservators who will be able to mend the woven leather seat and repair the broken wooden decoration in the chair arm. This ‘President’s Chair’, as we call it in the office, will finally be restored to the standard it was in when it was first made in the early 1900s by Giuseppe Parvis, an Italian-Egyptian master craftsman working in Cairo. 



The Society’s Egyptian Revival ‘President’s Chair’ in need of specialist conservation

At the same time, we will also be send our portrait of EES founder Amelia B. Edwards for conservation. This 120 year old oil painting, which is currently hanging in the EES London office, will be gently cleaned to remove the hazy 'bloom' on its surface and its original gilded frame will be repaired. Museum-quality glazing will be installed in the frame to protect the portrait from harmful UV-light and will be low-reflective to allow the painting to be more easily viewed.


The Society's oil painting of EES founder Amelia B. Edwards

It is only thanks to the generous contributions of our supporters that this work will be possible in 2023 and we’re very grateful to all who donated to or shared this appeal. We will continue to provide updates on the conservation projects throughout the year online and on our social media channels using #ConserveTheEES.