3 July 2011

The Tam O'Shanter Coach

The Tam O'Shanter Coach
On 1 May 2007 Sheena Stoddard, the then Curator of Fine Art, suggested that the Tam O’Shanter Coach, which did the Bristol to Exeter run, would be an excellent purchase for the new Museum of Bristol (subsequently M Shed).  However, she added that the painting, attributed to W Rogers and painted in 1837, was in poor condition requiring 100 hours conservation work to be restored. The Friends of Bristol Art Gallery agreed to fund the purchase and part-fund the conservation cost.

Helen  Dowding, one of the conservators at the Museum, carried out the conservation. When she first received the painting, she found the surface covered in thick brown varnish and the paint was flaking off the canvas. Then ensued the long job of stabilising the paint, strenthening the canvas, removing the discoloured varnish, and re-integrating the paint losses. Later, the original frame was restored.  The painting is on display in the Bristol Places Gallery of M Shed.