The painting conservator, a participant during the artistic process

Author: Guillemette Caupin
Mentors: Noémie Etienne, Professor; Thierry Lalot, Professor

Institution: Paris 1, Panthéon-La Sorbonne (France)
Study programme: Ecole Doctorale ED 441 study programme, 3rd year of study
Specialization: Art history, History of Painting Conservation

Preventive Conservation, Curative Conservation and Restoration are established fields of actions for a painting conservator. Active Conservation designates a fourth field where the conservator works on recent productions and intervenes alongside the artistic process (before, during or within a few years of completion of an artwork).
The concurrency of creation and conservation requires collaboration between conservators and Art World figures. While the conservator’s interventions are often requested directly by the artist, they can also be done at the demand of other figures of the Art market (art dealer, art suppliers, etc.). Beside engaging restorers for their private collection, artists can be found collaborating with painting conservators on their personal production. Restoration and invoice records mentioning conservation techniques on artworks in the making witness this Active Conservation work. In this context, the creation of a painting is a collective activity in which the painting conservator acts as an active participant to the creation – as a consultant or as a technician – sometimes essential to the mise-en-oeuvre (implementation) and the stability of a painting.

Speaker's biography
GUILLEMETTE CAUPIN joined EverGreene Architectural Arts in 2018 as a Painting Conservator. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at Paris 1, La Sorbonne University in Paris, focusing on the Theory and Practice History of Painting Conservation in France from the 17th to the 20th century. After several professional experiences abroad working on Worldwide Heritage Sites, she started her career in France, working for four years as a painting conservator in private practice in Paris where she focused on the conservation of easel paintings. Guillemette holds an MA in Restoration and Conservation from Les Écoles de Condé in Paris, and an MA in Art History with a focus on European Modern paintings from Paris Nanterre University.