2015, 13-22 March
Maastricht, Netherlands

/ Restoration Project

TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund

Information and application

For the silver jubilee of the fair in 2012 the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund was created out of the desire to give something back to the great number of museums whose representatives regularly visit our fair. It aims to make a contribution to the conservation of objects that are in those museums' collections and to support the sharing of knowledge about conservation, not only with other museums, but also with the general public.

A maximum of €50,000 will be given by TEFAF every year towards one or two museum projects to restore works of art. The decision on who should receive the award and whether it should go to a single restoration plan or be split between two museums will be made by a jury of independent experts. Museums applying for this funding must have visited TEFAF in the year of the application, the work of art must be on view to the public for at least two years after the restoration is completed.

Download the Guidelines


Download the Application Form

Download the Budget Spreadsheet

The 2013 grants

The Worcester Art Museum in the United States and the Ashmolean Museum in the United Kingdom are to receive grants from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund  to help them carry out important conservation projects. The Fund was set up by TEFAF Maastricht, as one of its 2012 Silver Jubilee initiatives and provides up to €50,000 each year to help institutions around the world conserve works of art in their collections.  A panel of independent, international experts considered many applications from museums before selecting the two winning projects, which will each receive €25,000.

The Worcester Art Museum

The portraits of William and Elizabeth James by William Hogarth, 1744, in the collection of the Worcester Art Museum The Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts is to restore a pair of portraits by the 18th century British artist William Hogarth. The pendant portraits of William and Elizabeth James, painted by Hogarth in 1744, were acquired by the museum more than a century ago but have never been comprehensively treated or technically evaluated and will benefit greatly from a conservation project. The work will enable the Worcester Art Museum to feature them prominently in Hogarth and the English Character, an exhibition planned for 2016, and ultimately to return these cornerstone works to its permanent galleries. The restoration will allow those viewing them to experience the full impact of the paintings as exquisite works of art without any concerns about their condition. The newly conserved pictures will reveal more authentic palettes and broader tonal ranges that, when reunited with their newly conserved frames, will enable viewers to have the pleasing experience intended by Hogarth.

William Hogarth (1697-1764) was one of the masters of British painting. Although best known for his biting satires of society that were popularised in engravings, he was also a skilled portraitist. In these paintings he captured the confidence of William James, a country squire from the English county of Kent, and his wife Elizabeth, both proud of their fashionable London clothes.

The Ashmolean Museum

The Piranesi candelabra in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is to carry out a conservation project on two candelabra by  the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778). The intricately carved candelabra are some of the finest examples of neo-classical sculpture in the United Kingdom. They form a key element of the collections displayed in the Ashmolean's impressive Randolph Sculpture Gallery and are of international significance. They were purchased from Piranesi by Sir Roger Newdigate, who made two Grand Tours in 1739-40 and 1774-75. The candelabra were shipped in component form from Italy to Oxford with instructions for their re-assembly provided by Piranesi. The candelabra have become structurally unsound because the plaster bonding in the joints between each vertical section has failed during the 100 years since they were last restored. Until they were re-plinthed on pallets in 1991, these vulnerable objects were traditionally moved by masons dragging them across the floor, using winches, rather than lifting them. Although they are now mounted on pallets, disguised as plinths, moving them still puts them at risk as they comprise many loose components. For that reason the museum has developed this project to dismantle, conserve and structurally stabilize these remarkable objects.
The 2012 grants

The first grants were awarded jointly to the Denver Art Museum and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Video presentations of their projects were shown at TEFAF 2012.

The Denver Art Museum received €26,000 towards restoration work on Venice: The Molo from the Bacino di S. Marco painted by Canaletto c1736. The panel which made the decision says: "The main reasons that the panel chose the Denver Art Museum's project were the indisputable authenticity of the Canaletto and the innovative way that art lovers worldwide will be able to follow this project."

The Rijksmuseum received €22,000 towards work on a group of ten bronze memorial statuettes from the tomb of Isabella of Bourbon which date from 1476. The panel says: "The reasons for our decision were the urgency of of the conservation and the prominent place that the group of objects will have in the museum once it reopens in 2013. Many people from all over the world will be able to enjoy them."