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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

oscar namatjira watercolour


Oscar Namatjira (1922 - 1991) was the son of well-known indigenous Australian artist, Albert Namatjira. Both were members of the Hermannsburg School, an art movement that began in the 1930s and was characterised by the use of watercolours to depict the luminous colours of the outback landscape in the Western Arrernte region of Australia's Northern Territory.    


Upon arrival at ICS, this piece was in fairly poor condition. It had been fully adhered to an acidic backing board, causing the paper to yellow and discolour. There were also extensive foxing spots across the surface, as well as mountburn, pin holes in the corners, surface dirt, and small losses and tears around the edges. Mat board residues and adhesives were also present on the edges of the piece. 


The piece underwent a full conservation treatment, which included the following treatment steps:

  1. Photo-documentation before and after treatment
  2. Test stability of media
  3. Surface cleaning
  4. Removal of mat board residues and backing board  
  5. Aqueous treatment to remove soluble discolouration and acids
  6. Reduction of staining, discolouration, foxing and mountburn
  7. Application of tear repairs
  8. Humidification and flattening
  9. Retouching and reframing


Private Collection  


Paper Conservation









Oscar Namatjira - BT

     Before treatment   

Oscar Namatjira - AT

     After treatment     

Oscar Namatjira - BT (Detail)
Before treatment - Detail

Oscar Namatjira - AT (Detail)

After treatment - Detail