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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

Goatcher curtain, 1908


The Boulder stage curtain was painted by Phillip Goatcher in 1908 and is one of the few remaining examples of his work in the world. The painting is very large, approximately 6x8 meters, and is painted with water based distemper paint.


The painting was in a state of disrepair with many large tears, flaking paint and severe water staining.
The staff at ICS undertook the huge task of painting restoration in 1997. The painting was stabilised and transported from Western Australia to Sydney. The paint layer was consolidated, the tears repaired, the surface was cleaned with a traditional method of bread putty rolled over the surface and also with a modern material called a molecular sponge.
In 2008 Adam Godijn visited the Goatcher curtain to assess the condition and see how the original art restoration is holding up. It was found that the original painting conservation works were still functioning and many of the preventive conservation measures were effective in helping to preserve the curtain.

In 2011 Adam Godijn and Arek Werstak returned to Boulder after a recent earthquake to assess damage to the Goatcher curtain. Miraculously, the curtain was relatively undamaged. Although bricks had fallen around the curtain, the only damage was the accumulation of additional dust and dirt, as well as some small losses where paint had flaked off. The team cleaned and stablisied the entire curtain and re-touched the damage caused by the flaking paint. They also helped to relocate the curtain to a crate for safe storage while the building was repaired.

For More Information 


Kalgoorlie Boulder City Council


Paintings Conservation  




Goatcher rehung

Goatcher Curtain re hung in Boulder Town Hall


Goatcher BT

Detail: Before Treatment


Goatcher AT

Detail: After Treatment