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Morwenna Blewett

Morwenna Blewett

Painting Conservator

Office Phone: 01223 832040


Morwenna Blewett read the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, completing her degree in 2000. In 2003, she concluded her training as a paintings conservator at the Department of Conservation and Technology, also at the Courtauld. She held an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Paintings Conservation at Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts from 2004-2006. From 2006-2007 she held the Straus Paintings Conservation Fellowship at the Straus Center for Conservation at Harvard University. After working as a paintings conservator at the National Galleries of Scotland she took up a post at the Cambridge University affiliated Ebury Street studio of the Hamilton Kerr Institute, to work under Anna Sanden. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics, completed in 2008 and also a Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE) completed in 2010. She completed an LLB in Law from the University of Northumbria in 2015 (Bond Dickinson Roll of Honour for Outstanding Performance) with a focus on the legislative provisions covering malicious damage to movable cultural property. She was a paintings conservator at the National Gallery, London from 2008-2016.

She is a PhD candidate at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism at Birkbeck, University of London, completing a dissertation exploring the role of the conservation profession during the Second World War. 

Research Interests

Morwenna is interested in the materials and technology of painting and also historical restoration materials, techniques, and the evolution of conservation theory and practice. Evidence of conservation treatments and questions surrounding condition, as factors in the history of taste and connoisseurship in the early twentieth century, are also an area of focus. Morwenna also continues to be interested in status of works of art and their damage as physical, political and legal concepts during conflict and peace time, in both the historical context of the early twentieth century as well as contemporarily. 

Other Professional Activities

Morwenna has acted as a peer-reviewer for a range of conservation journals. 

Key Publications

M. Blewett, L. Harrison, D. Peggie, Preparing for the Worst: Redeveloping and Tailoring a Rapid Response Bag and Procedure to the Specific Needs and Limitations of the National Gallery, Postprints from the Paintings Specialty Group at the Joint AC-ACCR (42nd Annual Meeting) AIC (44th Annual Meeting), Montreal, American Institute for Conservation, 2017

M. Blewett, The Art of Conservation VI: Helmut Ruhemann: Paintings Restorer in Berlin and London, Burlington Magazine, August 2016

M. Blewett, Conservation at the National Gallery and the Second World War, London Art History Society Review, 2016

M. Blewett, Sebastian Isepp: London and Oxford, The Ashmolean Magazine, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University, Summer 2016 

M. Blewett, Institutional Restorers, Cultural Plunder and New Collections, Museen und Nationalzozialismus: Akteure-Orte-Politik, eds, Tanja Baensch, Kristina Kratz-Kessemeier, Dorothee Wimmer, Boehlau-Verlag, Cologne, 2016

M. Blewett, When Cultural Property is just Property: How English Law Approaches Damage to Movable Versus Immovable Cultural Property, Art Antiquity and Law, Vol. XX, Issue 4, December, 2015

M. Blewett, L. Harrison and D. Peggie, Incident Preparedness at the National Gallery: Developing a Grab Bag for Rapid Response to a Corrosive Attack, Studies in Conservation, Vol. 60, No.5, September, 2015

M Blewett, A Safe Haven: Refugee Restorers and the National Gallery, ICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference Preprints, Melbourne, ed. J. Bridgland, article 1901, Paris, International Council of Museums, 2014

M. Blewett and I. Horovitz, Rigid Supports: Reverse Glass Painting, Conservation of Easel Paintings, eds, Joyce Hill Stoner and Rebecca Rushfield, Routledge, London, 2013

M. Blewett, History of Conservation Documentation, Conservation of Easel Paintings, eds, Joyce Hill Stoner and Rebecca Rushfield, Routledge, London, 2013

M. Blewett, Conservators in Service of the Nazi Kleptocracy: A Case Study by Ruth Heftrig, Olaf Peters and Barbara Schellewald, Kunstgeschichte im “Dritten Reich”: Theorien, Methoden, Praktiken, Academie Verlag, Berlin, 2008

M. Blewett, Contribution of technical commentary concerning selected paintings from the Fogg Art Museum and Busch-Reisinger Museum, ed, S. Wolohojian, Handbook to the Collections of Harvard University Art Museums, Yale University Press, 2008

M. Blewett, Conservation and its Role: The Nazi Looting Machine and the Goering Collection, History and Theory Working Group, ICOM-CC, Triennial Meeting Preprints, New Delhi, September, 2008

M. Blewett, A Puzzle to the Critics: The Treatment and Technical Analysis of a Panel Painting of Possible French Origin, University of Texas, ANAGPIC, web publication 2008

M. Blewett, The Technical Analysis of Kees Van Dongen’s Varnishing Technique, Technical Bulletin of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials, 2008

M. Blewett, Restoring for the Reich: Commercial and Institutional Restorers in the Service of the Nazi Kleptocracy, Journal of Art, Antiquity and Law, Institute of Art and Law, Vol. XII, Issue 1, March, 2007

M. Blewett, Training to be a Paintings Conservator with the Assistance of the Patricia Fay Memorial Trust: A Personal Perspective, NADFAS Review, National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, Spring, 2006

M. Blewett,The History of Conservation Documentation at Worcester Art Museum, AIC Paintings Specialty Group Postprints No.18, American Institute for Conservation, 2006

M. Blewett, Consolidation Issues and Treatment Strategies for Delaminating Layers on Reverse Glass Painting: A Literature Review and Case Study, The Picture Restorer, Number 28, British Association of Picture Conservator-Restorers, Autumn, 2005

M. Blewett, Twentieth Century Reverse Painted Glass Panels: An investigation of William Nicholson’s Knoblock Commission. The Conservator, Number 28, United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 2004

Upcoming events

Migrants: art, artists, materials and ideas crossing borders

Nov 15, 2018

Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

Upcoming events

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