26 June 2015

Erica Kotze - Deteriorating Surfaces


Hospitalfield’s Summer Weekend, entitled READING SURFACE, will start with a talk on the evening of Friday 26 June by Erica Kotze, Senior Conservator for University of Aberdeen Special Collections, about the conservation and preservation of surfaces focusing on two main modes of deterioration namely light and handling.

Kotze’s talk will describe the general principles and techniques which she employs within the course of her work and include specific case study examples where the deterioration of  the surfaces of an object have revealed more about the layered stories of its history and use. Through conversation with staff she will be able to explain some instances of this which can also be found in Hospitalfield House.

The talk will also detail how some of the processes used to manufacture the surface have implications for its subsequent deterioration.

This is a free event but please book online…


Two displays will also be in place during this evening event and for the duration of the open weekend:

Marbled papers made by Timmergreens Primary School pupils will be presented alongside marbled end-papers, covers and edges of books from Hospitalfield’s library – a selection of the diverse examples of books from the last two centuries which have this exquisite hand made decoration.

Golden wall panels removed from the Picture Gallery in the 20th Century – a series of large leather wall panels which were part of the original design of the Picture Gallery when it was completed by Patrick Allan Fraser in 1853.


Erica Kotze is the Senior Conservator at the University of Aberdeen’s Special Collections Centre.  She specialises in preventive conservation, conservation of works of art, flat archive material, parchment and flood damaged material. 

BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and MA in paper conservation from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts, London; including placements at the University of Durham Special Collections and Westminster City Archives.  2003-2004 Historic Scotland paper conservation internship hosted by the Book & Paper Conservation Studio at the University of Dundee, followed by staff position in the studio until 2010.  An accredited member of the Institute of Conservation (Icon) since 2010 and committee member of Icon Scotland Group.

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