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Raising money to repair oil paintings in Turnbull Library collection

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A fundraising campaign to repair and clean oil paintings in the Turnbull Library collections was launched by the Turnbull Endowment Trust at the National Library in Wellington tonight.

“We’d love to see these paintings publicly exhibited and looking their best”, said Paula MacLachlan, Executive Director of the Trust.

The Turnbull Library’s collections hold thousands of artworks. Some come into the collections in need of treatment. The Library stabilises the paintings from further deterioration, but generally does not fund or start major remedial work. The paintings can be seen for research purposes but are not often exhibited.

The campaign Paintings in Perpetuity invites individuals, families and organisations to choose a painting and support its treatments financially.

Tonight was a chance for some of the treasures of the collections to be seen; paintings in need of cleaning, repair, glazing or framing.

“Our core mandate is to ensure that these paintings are stored in facilities that keep the works stable and available for research purposes,” said Dr Stead.

“In conservation terms, we’re not in the business of ‘restoring’ paintings. But it would be great to see some of these oils cleaned and glazed, and where necessary repaired, including framing.”

The event honoured a member of the Friends of the Turnbull Library, Ms Barbara Blake as the first campaign donor. The framed oil selected by Ms Blake entered the Turnbull collection in 1989 in a heavily deteriorated state. The contribution means that remedial work can be scheduled and in due course publicly displayed.

“The Turnbull Library is the guardian of so many treasures which they care for and protect on our behalf. I hate to think that our grandchildren might not be able to discover their New Zealand and Pacific history through seeing the collections at the Turnbull Library, and I’m happy that my donation is a small action to help keep these treasures accessible and alive.” says Ms Blake.

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