Oil painting collection: Risk assessment, evaluation and mitigation strategies

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"Casa dos Patudos", a historic house museum, has a large collection of oil paintings on permanent display. Many of the problems affecting this collection do not have simple answers. Ideal solutions may be too expensive or unattainable. Consequently, an approach to establishing priorities and planning improvements is imperative. The Cultural Property Risk Model was applied to this oil painting collection. The magnitude of the specific risks for this collection were calculated in order to provide a well informed decision making, taking into account the type of mitigation strategies possible to implement in a historic house. The top five hazards affecting this collection were: the high relative humidity values and fluctuations, incorrect handling, increase in paint detachment due to the maintenance of paintings with paint lifting on display, damages caused by wood borers and excessive light exposure. Some of the mitigations actions proposed involve the increase of doors and windows insulation, providing staff training on paintings collection care and preventive conservation, implementation of an integrated pest management program. Although this work was applied to a specific oil painting collection, many other historic houses have oil painting collections under similar risks as the ones reported in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-414
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Conservation Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Historic house
  • Oil painting
  • Preventive conservation
  • Risk assessment


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