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The Art of Conservation

About ICS

International Conservation Services (ICS) Pty Ltd was founded in June 1991, but originally began life in September 1986 under the name Campbell Conservation Pty Ltd. Campbells was founded by Julian Bickersteth, who at the time was acting Curator of Conservation at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Julian had become concerned at the lack of private sector conservation resources available for the very substantial collections held outside the collecting institutions in Australia. Julian was joined by a number of highly qualified and established conservators and together they quickly built a reputation for undertaking complex conservation work to museum standard.

Throughout the 1990s ICS consolidated and prospered, undertaking a number of high profile projects such as The Civic Theatre in Newcastle, The Capitol in Sydney and St Andrews Cathedral in Sydney. They initially specialised in the conservation of furniture, works on paper, objects, photographs, outdoor cultural material, textiles and paintings - from the very very old to the modern. They are currently working on a major international project, conserving heritage huts in the Antarctic.

About Julian Bickerstetch, Managing Director of ICS

Julian was educated at Oxford University before completing a Diploma in Materials Conservation. In 1983 he joined the conservation department of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, later becoming Curator of Conservation before leaving to set up ICS. He is on the Board and is currently the Deputy President of the National Trust of Australia, and also chairs the Museums and Collections Committee. At a time he was also a director for AusHeritage Limited and he is now part of the Council of the Furniture History Society of Australasia. He’s been passionate about the historic heritage of Antarctica for quite some time and is loving his involvement in their current project there.

In the video, Julian gives us an overview of his job and the skills needed, and we also meet a fellow-worker, Warwick Bailey, whose training in cabinet making comes in handy in this job of conservation.

VJ Matthew Jenkin