Thirteen works selected from Hull’s collection of historic maritime paintings have been given a new lease of life.
Experts have spent more than 1,000 hours carefully preserving the paintings and their frames as part of the city’s Hull Maritime project. The work included cleaning the surface, removing layers of dust, dirt and faded varnish, repairing major tears and filling and touching up paint loss.
With the restoration work now complete, they are currently in a state-of-the-art storage facility awaiting the completion of the ongoing renovation of the Hull Maritime Museum. The paintings join 38 other works of art in the collection that have already been curated since the start of the Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project in 2018.
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The latest restoration work included two very large oil paintings – Calm on the Humber painted by Henry Redmore in 1868 and HMS Britannia by John Ward from 1847. Both previously hung in the museum’s main stairwell.
Gillian Osgerby, Project Manager for Hull Maritime from Hull City Council, said: “These paintings were chosen as those most in need of attention, after decades of display or storage. Conserving these paintings has breathed new life into them, bringing them back to their former glory to shine for our visitors for years to come.”
A team from the University of Lincoln carried out the final work. These were similar art restoration techniques used on the hit TV show The Repair Shop.
Rhiannon Clarricoates, senior research fellow at the university’s School of History and Heritage, College of Arts, said: “These 13 paintings cover a long period of Hull’s maritime history, from the 18th century to the 20th century, and many artists were local, so they have a real sense of place.By removing dirt and old varnish, and repairing tears and losses, we were able to reveal the details and colors of the original paintings, so that the sense of place can be enjoyed by visitors now and in the future.”
David Renwick, North Director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It is great news that, thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to support the conservation of these incredible maritime paintings. This important work of preserving these paintings means that future generations, both local and from further afield, can learn more about Hull’s rich heritage by displaying them in the renovated Hull Maritime Museum.”