In December 2013, the GCI and the Art Gallery of New South Wales welcomed eighteen conservators from Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines to the fourth Cleaning of Acrylic Painted Surfaces (CAPS) workshop, held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. The CAPS workshop series engages conservators with current research into acrylic paints and explores the theory, design, and application of customized methodologies and materials for cleaning acrylic painted surfaces.
The workshop began with an overview of current knowledge and recent advances in the cleaning of acrylic paints given by the workshop instructors, all of whom are leading research in this area: Bronwyn Ormsby (Tate), Chris Stavroudis (independent conservator), and Alan Phenix and Tom Learner (GCI).
Through hands-on work with acrylic paint samples and acrylic paintings, the participants and instructors explored the formulation and use of a range of cleaning systems. During the week of the workshop, an evening lecture was held for the local museum community, to make new research on acrylic paints available to a wider audience.
CAPS is part of the GCI's Research into Practice Initiative, which seeks to facilitate the practical application of new research to conservation problems. Since its inception in 2009, the CAPS workshop series has reached over eighty conservators around the world, and future workshops are planned for Canada (summer 2014), Europe, and Asia. In addition, selected teaching materials, including instructional videos, are available on the GCI website.