Conservators and Restorers of Paintings

38 Cornwall Gardens, London SW7 4AA

ATELIER: 109 Leathwaite Road, London, SW11 6RW

Mobile: +44 (0) 78 36 35 9995


In addition to carrying out practical painting conservation and restoration herself, with her 50 years of experience of conservation, Dr Clare Finn has specialist knowledge of paintings ranging from Old Masters to Contemporary, and including China Trade paintings, Impressionist and post-impressionist, Victorian, Modern British, Russian Avant-Garde.

She is an accredited member of the Institute for Conservation(ICON), and a Fellow of the International Institute for Conservation (IIC). Clare’s Phd is in an aspect of Picasso’s work and she is an authority on his bronze casting during World War II.



1981 ‑ the present: Clare set up and currently runs Finn and Archdale, Picture Conservators, Ltd., which now trades as Clare Finn & Co. Ltd., working on Impressionist, Old Master, Victorian, Modern British, contemporary, China Trade and Indian contemporary paintings for a wide range of clients. As a consultant to Sotheby's impressionist department she has gained a specialised knowledge in the techniques of the paintings of the major impressionists, post-impressionists, and Russian avant-garde. It is work that has taken her to Europe, America, India and Japan.

In addition to carrying out practical work in all aspects of conservation and restoration of paintings Clare undertakes research projects into causes of deterioration on art works of a less conventional nature. She is currently involved in trying to find a solution for problems with some works in wax by the artist Robert Rauschenberg. She has worked on the conservation and restoration of historic interiors overseeing conservation projects both on paintings and gilding in situ and carried out research on the original interior decorative scheme, not adopted, for the Playhouse Theatre in London.

1979 – 81: Senior Restorer for firm James Bourlet (Frames) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sotheby's. Clare ran the painting conservation and restoration department undertaking work for a broad client base and re establishing links with Sotheby's who, until she joined the firm, had ceased using the firm’s conservation department.

1974 – 79: Senior Keeper of Conservation and Restoration for Coventry Museums in Warwickshire.

Clare set up and ran the department, which covered the conservation of paintings, prints, drawings, archival material, archaeological, folk life and an automobile collection. As well as carrying out practical restoration on paintings in the Museum's collection, which included a large Bacchanal by Luca Giordano, she undertook a detailed climate study of the main museum building, formulating recommendations based on its findings. She also researched and mounting two exhibitions; one on aspects of colour and one on the conservation of paintings and objects.

Summer 1974: Worked in the Prints and Drawings Conservation Laboratory of the British Museum.

Easter 1974: Worked in the Conservation Studio of the Area Museum Service for S.E. England based at Kenwood House, Hampstead, London.


2009 – 2011 Clare served as a trustee of ICON (Institute for Conservation).

2006-2009 Group Chair for the Icon Paintings Group.

2006 – the present Clare has mentored candidates for their accreditation and is a Career Professional

Development reader.

2000 Clare gained her professional accreditation under the PACR scheme when it was first initiated.

1999 – the present Clare has served as a committee member for the Paintings Group, first for the UKIC

(United Kingdom Institute for Conservation) then for ICON.


1978: Studied Mural Painting Conservation at the International Centre for Conservation in Rome, ICCROM. Funded by a scholarship from the Italian Government.

Studies included mural painting conservation, technique and documentation and problems encountered with the in situ nature of the work.

1973 – 74: Studied at the Institut fur Technologie der Malerei, Kunst Akademie, Stuttgart Germany.

Funded by a British Council Scholarship. Studies included the conservation of easel paintings, gothic and renaissance altarpieces and polychrome sculpture, artist's technology and technique, microscopy, photography, documentation, iconography, chemistry and art history.

1972 – 73 : Studied at the Schweizerisches Institut fur Kunstwissenschaft in Zurich, Switzerland.

Funded by a Stipend awarded by the Institute. Studies included the practical conservation of easel paintings, gothic and renaissance altarpieces and polychrome sculpture.

1970 – 72: Studied at Gateshead Technical College, Tyne and Wear, now the University of Northumbria. Studies included the practical conservation and restoration of easel paintings, photographic and written documentation, chemistry and physics of artist's materials.

In addition to her work as a paintings’ conservator, since 1986 Clare has trained part time as a jeweller. This led eventually to her undertaking a PhD at the Royal College of Art, London.


2000 – 2004 Clare earned a PhD from the Royal College of Art, London on:

Picasso's decorative metalwork; his collaboration with François Hugo.

1998 – 2000: Clare transferred onto MPhil, The Royal College of Art, London.

1996-1997: MA by Project at London Guildhall University; Picasso's work in silver and gold, (not


1995-1996: Extended Studies at London Guildhall University.

1994-1995: London Guildhall University; post graduate certificate in silversmithing, jewellery and allied Crafts. Studies included aspects of authenticity, British art and politics in the first half of the 20th century and the making of a prototype for a mechanical face with moving features.

1992 – 1994: London Guildhall University; extended Studies in Jewellery.

1993:City and Guild, Advanced level; subject: fine jewellery & prepared practical: Pass.

1992:City and Guilds, Advanced level; subject: fine jewellery written & design: Credit.

1990:City and Guilds, Craft level; subject: prepared practical & practical-fashion jewellery: Pass.

1989:City and Guilds, Craft level; Fashion Jewellery written: Credit.

Fashion jewellery design: Pass.

1986-1991: City of London Polytechnic certificate in silversmithing, jewellery & allied crafts.

AWARDS: 1994:Finalist in the Ayrton Metals Platinum Competition.

2nd prize Jerwood Foundation Pearl Design Competition.