Knowledge Exchange

Behind the Scenes Lecture Series

Looking After the Past: Conservation at the National Gallery, London

By Larry Keith

alternative text

Date:                      October 11, 2016, Tuesday

Time:                      6:30 pm

Venue:                   Rayson Huang Theatre, HKU

Registration link: 

The preservation of the National Gallery's famous collection has been a central aspect of that institution since its foundation in 1824. Larry Keith, the Gallery's Head of Conservation and Keeper, gives an overview of the rich history of conservation at the Gallery, and how its advances and controversies have informed the way the department works today. This talk will look at what happens behind the scene when conservators are charged with the preservation, study and restoration of some of the world's best-loved masterpieces.

Larry Keith is the Director of Collections (interim) National Gallery, London where he has been working since 1991 – first as a paintings conservator and then as Head of Conservation in 2010. He has contributed numerous articles on painting techniques across the range of the Collection for the Gallery’s Technical Bulletin, as well as contributions to exhibition catalogues on Diego Velazquez and Leonardo da Vinci.

Conservation in Historic Places of Worship -
Tales from Westminster Abbey By Marie Louise Sauerberg

Marrie Louise
©Chris Titmus, Hamilton Kerr Institute,
University of Cambridge

Date:                      October 14, 2016, Friday

Time:                      6:30 pm (Registration/Reception ), 7:00 pm (Discussion)

Venue:                   Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty

Registration link:

For more than 1,000 years, people have been worshipping on the site of Westminster Abbey. Marie Louise Sauerberg takes a closer look at how to find a balance between the preservation of the World Heritage site and its collections with the functional demands of daily worship in a church at the heart of the British nation. Specialising in the conservation of painted and gilded surfaces, she has worked on a number of extraordinary objects from the Abbey, including the late 13th-century Coronation Chair on which all but three English Monarchs have been crowned since 1399.

Marie Louise Sauerberg trained at the School of Conservation of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. In 1998, she joined the Hamilton Kerr Institute at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, becoming Assistant to the Director in 2008. From 2007 to 2014, she worked with the team at Westminster Abbey, first as a consultant for the conservation of painted surface and later as part of the Conservation Department at the Abbey. She is currently Director of Keith & Sauerberg Ltd.


The Behind the Scenes Lecture Series, initiated by the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Fine Arts, aims to bring high-profile speakers from the international art world to highlight the work of professionals who help to keep art accessible for audiences now and in the future. The 2016 Lectures are generously supported by Qatar Airways and AXA ART.

Qatar Airways is a multiple award-winning airline which serves over 150 destinations across six continents, including many of the world’s greatest sites of art and cultural heritage.  The Doha-based carrier is deeply committed to the communities it serves and pays particular emphasis to education-related initiatives in its corporate social responsibility efforts, both locally and internationally. It is the official communications ambassador for the Education Above All Foundation's "Educate a Child" programme. Following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Qatar Airways donated to the China Youth Development Fund as part of the Project Hope initiative, helping to fund schools and build temporary and permanent facilities for affected students. 

AXA ART is a specialist division of the global AXA group and the world’s only art-led insurance company. Having operated in the art and insurance market for over 50 years, AXA ART is able to offer tailor-made solutions as well as professional risk mitigation advice for private and corporate collections, museums, galleries, auction houses, exhibitions and transits. As the main insurer of global art events, AXA ART is an active player in the art communities. We support art institutions on research and education as well as serve as a partner of major international art fairs such as TEFAF and Art Basel. 

Organized by:

Fine Arts Department

Airline Sponsor:

Qatar Airlines

Event Sponsor:


The October 14 event is
jointly organized by: Asia Society Logo