The History of the Oil Painting Conservation Studio

My first conservation studio opened in Chertsey Surrey on the 1st of February 1971, relocating in 1974 to a second studio in Weybridge Surrey. Returning again to Chertsey in 1987 to develop my current conservation studio handling large and small oil paintings of all ages. During that period I have personally conserved over sixty thousand oil paintings making the Robert Mitchell Studio one the most experienced in the world.

My wife Vicki is my studio assistant and my son Darrell joined the studio around 18 years ago before moving to Australia, after ten years in Brisbane operating his own conservation and restoration Studio Gallery, Darrell returned and is now an experienced partner in the business.

From 1968 to 1971 I researched, developed and built my own Vacuum Conservation Hot Tables. In the 60’s as an experienced Permac Bowe dry cleaning Engineer my knowledge enabled me to build the mechanical structure, heating beds, vacuum system and the electrical control panels with very little difficulty. My inventive nature led me to reject old fashioned hot iron glue and Bees wax techniques(hot irons damage soft modern paint) and concentrate on low pressure low temperature bonding.

Around 1990 I started to develop global warming friendly conservation supports, currently using eight different types to suit the problem and the age of the painting arriving at our Painting Conservation Hospital. In 1977 I started the restoring and Gilding of old frames.

In 1992 Classic Fine Art Frames was formed with Wayne Cooper to add the manufacturing of Bespoke frames for dealers, galleries and artists .