Rosalind Whitehouse

Frome, Somerset, United Kingdom 

Studio of Rosalind Whitehouse, MA, ACR, FBAPCR

Accredited  Paintings Conservator - Restorer


Accredited lecturer,

The Arts Society(formerly NADFAS)

Rosalind Whitehouse MA ACR FBAPCR

Accredited Conservator of Paintings


Five currently offered lectures:

The Painter, the Punters, and the Musicians by the Sea:

the painting conservator explores three distinctive and independent art collections in East Anglia.

Here we look at three contrasting independent collections of paintings, housed in their original domestic settings, between them spanning the mid eighteenth century to the mid twentieth.

Each building is a busy environment, used for far more than exhibition purposes, and each has a fascinating story to tell of the people who built them up.

Sir Alfred Munnings’ Dedham home opens to the public to reveal work from across his controversial career;

The Red House, home of Sir Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, in Aldeburgh, presents a C20th art and design time capsule; 

The Jockey Club at Newmarket – and the town itself -  together tell the story of a C18th coffee house for the rich and powerful racehorse owners that became the home and controlling body of  horseracing, complete  with its distinctive collection of equestrian art.

We’ll look at individual case histories, and see how science informs conservation, and learn something of George Stubbs’ experimental painting techniques  - all illustrated with many images.


Coverups: histories hidden within paintings, and an exploration of what is meant by ‘authentic’.

As soon as a painting is completed, it starts to change! 

Using many images taken during conservation work in the studio, this talk  describes the physical and cosmetic changes wrought by ‘time’s paintbrush’,  and goes on to narrate  surprising tales  of  artists  - and owners - who changed their paintings, and the particular social and emotional pressures that forced their hands .

Ideas about which of the evolving states of a painting is the ‘authentic’ one are fluid, and we explore concepts of authenticity, and venture to propose that more people than the original artist contribute to the ongoing creative process.


Discovering and uncovering Constables in the Dedham Vale: tales from the painting conservator’s studio.

Is that painting a Constable? Or could it have been painted by his teacher, a follower, or even by his assistant? Who decides, and how?

Using many studio images from her case histories, the painting conservator tells the stories of pictures that were encountered while working in the Dedham Vale, the area where Constable grew up and worked and which he made into an enduring ideal of the English landscape.

It is still possible to ‘find’ such a Constable, whether it turns up at Auction, or is finally brought out of obscurity as a result of scholarship.

Detailed images illustrate the process of the preparation, analysis and cleaning of an iconic Constable painting , and we learn about the various means by which a painting is dated and authenticated.


Healthcheck on paintings: the conservator as General Practitioner.

Just like ourselves, paintings change, age and deteriorate in a wide variety of ways, and the conservator, like the doctor, is on call for every situation.

We outline the (sometimes startling!)  problems, and the remedies available, starting with the ideal ‘healthy lifestyle’, and moving on to the conservation equivalent of major surgery.

Using many detailed and close-up images such as can only be seen under the lights of the studio, we see work in progress, and the outcomes.

This talk is a basic briefing on the objectives and methods of conservation of paintings, and invites sympathy for paintings that are badly treated, and gives guidance on how to look after pictures, whether at home or in a larger collection.


Caring for oil paintings* in country churches

Many Churches house paintings. Often these are Royal Coats of Arms, or memorial hatchments - heraldic paintings with a language and history all their own.

But Churches are far from ideal environments for pictures, and occasionally are the worst of all, with the result that they suffer characteristic patterns of decay. This talk describes such processes, and gives copiously illustrated case histories of successful conservation and restoration projects.

But the important part of the project is always people: individuals who take on a project for the church, starting with rallying enthusiasm, then satisfying the church Authority’ s Faculty requirements, and successfully enduring the hard slog of finding funding. The Vicar, the  Diocesan authority, the architect, the builder, the PCC, scaffolders, and conservation team all need to work together.

Unlike the conservation work of the past, everything is documented, before, during and after work, leaving a vital archive for the conservators of the future.

·      Not wall paintings, nor painted screens, which are separate subjects!




Telephone: 01373 229266


Rosalind Whitehouse,
22 Slipps Close, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1FW