Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Art Conservation, M.A., C.A.S.


Art Conservation Department


Fiona Beckett

Department Home page

First Reader

Fiona Beckett

Second Reader

Jiuan Jiuan Chen

Third Reader

Aaron Shugar

Fourth Reader

Rebecca Ploeger


This study focuses on the research, technical analysis, and treatment of an 1852 Jacob Spoel painting (Untitled, acc.62.28, 80cm H x 105cm W x 1.75cm D) owned by the Memorial Art Gallery and described as a ‘family gathering.’ When received by the department, the painting was not in a fit state for display; it was not structurally sound and had a disfiguring varnish reducing the readability of the composition. Technical research, multimodal imaging, radiography, and instrumental analysis, including x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, cross-sectional analysis, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, were carried out to understand the materials and techniques used by the artist. Results played a part in shaping the treatment strategy, and the painting was successfully stabilized and returned to a suitable condition for exhibition.