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Hamilton Kerr Institute

Fitzwilliam Museum

Rupert Featherstone ACR

Director, Hamilton Kerr Institute 
Assistant Director, Conservation: Fitzwilliam Museum                         




Mill Road
CB22 4NE


Tel: +44 (0)1223 832 040


Rupert Featherstone






Rupert Featherstone gained an MA in Natural Sciences and Art History at Magdalene College, Cambridge (1977-81), and subsequently was awarded his postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel paintings from the Hamilton Kerr Institute (1981-4). After an internship at the Royal Collection, he was appointed as one of the painting conservators working at St James’s Palace, until 1992. He then spent three years working in Kolkata, India, as Chief Restorer of the Calcutta Tercentenary Trust’s programme of conservation and education in the Victoria Memorial Hall, leading an international team of paintings and paper conservators. Returning to the United Kingdom, he rejoined the Royal Collection in 1995, becoming Manager of the Windsor Conservation Studio in 1999 and Senior Paintings Conservator in 2002. He was appointed Director of the Hamilton Kerr Institute, and Assistant Director, Conservation, at the Fitzwilliam Museum, in 2008.

Research Interests

Rupert’s interest are widespread, and in the past he has been involved in investigation of the technique of George Stubbs, Rubens and European artists, such as Zoffany and the Daniells, who were working in the Indian subcontinent in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Recently he has been particularly involved in Italian painting of the 16th and 17th centuries and he is working on Caravaggio’s technique. Rupert coordinated and contributed to the technical entries in: The Art of Italy Lucy Whitaker & Martin Clayton, London 2007, and The Later Flemish Paintings in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen Christopher White, London 2007, and has also written glossary entries for theMacMillan Dictionary of Art (1986)

Select Publications

  • Featherstone, R. and Whitaker, L. (2009). 'Two newly rediscovered works by Caravaggio in the Royal Collection', Burlington Magazine.
  • Featherstone, R.  (1997). 'New Insights through Restoration: Oil Paintings of India by European Masters, c. 1760 - 1830' in P Vaughan (ed.), The Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta: Conception, Collections, Conservation.  Mumbai: Marg Publications.
  • Featherstone, R. and McClure, I. (1984). The Cleaning of Stubbs Hambletonian. An Exhibition Catalogue, 'George Stubbs'. London: Tate Gallery.