Treatment of a polyurethane foam armchair – Aagaard Andersen’s 'Portrait of my Mother’s Chesterfield'

Author: Laura Jacobs
Mentor: Nathalie Richard, Decorative Arts Conservator at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Institution: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Queen’s Master of Art Conservation, internship placement) (Canada)
Study programme: Master of Art Conservation, 1st year of study
Specialization: Artifacts

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts holds one of North America’s greatest design collection. Amongst their collected works stands Danish designer Gunnar Aagaard Andersen’s Portrait of my Mother’s Chesterfield: a display of experimentation with a modern material and manufacturing technique of the time. Created along with 10 other specimens between 1964 and 1965, the Chesterfield consists only of polyurethane foam. This design object poses various conservation challenges today, such as dusting, worn surfaces, crumbling and loss of fragments. This presentation aims to convey the approach taken in the restoration of Andersen’s Chesterfield, from general cleaning to the recreation of losses, as well as consolidation approaches, ethical considerations during treatment and rehousing possibilities.

Speaker's biography
LAURA JACOBS is a Canadian student currently enrolled in the Master of Art Conservation (MAC) at Queen’s University, Kingston, and is completing an internship at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in the summer of 2021. Laura graduated in 2020 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry at Université Laval, Quebec City. In 2018, she was as a research assistant at Griffith University, Australia, focusing on pXRF analysis on rock art pigments in remote locations. From 2017 to 2020, she worked as a consultant at the Centre de Conservation du Québec to create a chemical inventory database, fitting the needs of the conservators.