Alison Foster ACR
I have 20 years of experience in the care of objects, collections and historic interiors in a variety of contexts. Throughout this time I have conserved multiple materials in both preventive (delaying the onset of deterioration) and remedial (providing active treatments to stabilise deterioration) capacities. My skills and experience include, but are not limited to, the conservation and care of fine and decorative arts, organic material (bone, leather, wood), ceramics, glass, decorative surfaces, stone, plaster and archeological material. In reality, objects can be composed of multiple materials and present a range of issues, so if you do not see your object or specific need listed here, it is always worth getting in touch as I may be able to help, or point you in the right direction if not.
Having begun my career with the National Trust, assisting with the documentation and storage of items within historic houses, I moved to museums, caring for diverse collections including fine & decorative arts, social history, world cultures and archaeology. It was whilst providing collections care workshops at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in Baku, Azerbaijan, and recognising the desperate need for remedial conservation skills, that I decided to embark on conservation training. I have since worked as a Conservator, managing and caring for collections for world-renowned organisations, including Westminster Abbey, House of Commons, Hirst Conservation and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Her care and attention to preventative conservation, as well as her skill at remedial work regularly demonstrated her wealth of experience and knowledge. She is incredibly organised and very reliable, and has a particular attention to detail which ensured nothing was ever overlooked. I would be happy to employ her again, knowing that our collection was in very capable hands.
Catherine NewleyAudience Development Manager, St Albans Museums
The assessment and condition reports prepared by Alison are meticulous and thorough and her reports are well organised, containing detailed and clearly laid out conservation options, timings and costings.
Liz PieksmaKeeper of Archaeology, Ethnography and Numismatics. The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford
MSc Conservation for Archaeology and Museums: University College London, Institute of Archaeology, Distinction
Chemistry for Conservators: International Academic Projects, 95%
Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation: City & Guilds of London Art School, Distinction
MA Museum Studies: University College London, Institute of Archaeology, Distinction
MA Joint Honours Archaeology and Anthropology: Edinburgh University, 2:1
House of Commons: Collections Conservation Manager. Managing all aspects of the conservation programme for the Works of Art collection belonging to the Parliamentary Estate.
St Albans Museums: Conservator of Collections. Initially employed to deliver the conservation strategy for the new St Albans Museum and Art Gallery (opened June 2018). Ongoing work involved: prioritising, managing and carrying out preventive and remedial conservation of St Albans Museums’ collections, alongside developing and evaluating the care and conservation policy/plans; undertaking private conservation work, and building a client base, for ongoing funding of the department.
Westminster Abbey, London: Queens Diamond Jubilee Galleries Liaison Conservator. Responsible for planning and managing the conservation, mount-making and installation of all objects to be included in the ‘QDJG’, liaising closely with Abbey staff and external contractors, whilst ensuring minimal disruption to the ongoing, daily worship and visitor experience within the Abbey. Supporting and managing the QDJG Liaison Conservation Assistant in the development of the object storage facility.
Bevaringstenestene, Museumsenteret I Hordaland, Salhus, Norway: Head of Objects Conservation Department. Responsible for the conservation and care of diverse objects (organic and inorganic), belonging to museums in Hordaland and to private clients, necessitating varying levels of intervention. Management and delivery of the ‘Norhordaland Private Collections’ survey to review, document and provide a conservation strategy for little-known private collections in the rural north of the county.
Hirst Conservation, Laughton, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, UK: Conservator. Involvement in a variety of conservation projects on practical and managerial levels, particularly architectural and objects conservation (wood, stone, plaster, mosaics, painted and decorative surfaces). Responsible also for research, tendering and documentation, including condition reports, treatment proposals, specifications, architectural paint research, method statements, health and safety documentation and costings.