Caring for Collections – Conservation in action

Caring for Collections – Conservation in action

Justin Laffan, fine art conservator, joins us again this summer to work his restoration magic on three pieces from the Fota House collection.

Following the successful award of funding from The Heritage Council this year, the Irish Heritage Trust is undertaking the conservation of more of our very precious paintings here at Fota House. In 2017, Justin Laffan expertly restored five works from the Fota collection. We continue the story in 2018, once more thanks to the Heritage Council’s MSPI Caring for Collections Grant scheme 2018.

Sincere thanks to the Heritage Council for supporting these restoration projects, allowing our team to join forces with experts like Justin to continue to protect and share elements of our collection with our local, national and international community of visitors to Fota House.

Justin will be restoring live on site during National Heritage Week on Tuesday 21st, Wednesday 22nd, Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th August. Visitors on House tours that take place during Justin’s time on site will have an opportunity to see conservation in practice. (Access subject to House tour times and Justin’s availability.)

We are thrilled to have three works from our collection in Justin’s expert hands:

“Landscape with figure”, James Arthur O’Connor

“Portrait of a Gentleman”, English School

“Landscape with Bridge, Figure and Horse”, Thomas Santell Roberts


About the Conservator:

We are extremely fortunate to have retained the services of the renowned and well respected fine art conservator, Justin Laffan , to work on the project.

After leaving The National College of Art in 1974 Justin travelled extensively in Europe, the USA and Mexico before setting up a business conserving oil paintings and objet d’art in Bournemouth England, working for private collectors and also for the art and antique trades.

Moved to Clashmore in 1989 (on the Cork Waterford border) Justin set up a conservation studio specializing in oil paintings, also works on gilt frames.

Justin has worked on many public and private collections. Such as:

  • Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens
  • The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
  • Port of Cork collection
  • Cobh Museum Cork
  • Bishops Palace Museum Waterford
  • City Hall Cork
  • Blarney House
  • Cappoquin House
  • Dromana House
  • Glin Castle, co. Limerick
  • Salterbridge House, co. Waterford
  • St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork
  • Cobh Cathedral
  • St. Alphonsus Church, Limerick
  • Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne, Cork