Obituary: Andrew Durham FIIC

Andrew Durham. Image courtesy of Artlab

Andrew Durham, Director of Artlab Australia in Adelaide has died after a short illness on 28 December 2023.

Andrew read English and History of Art at Emmanuel College Cambridge and studied conservation of easel paintings at the Courtauld Institute of Art.  After an internship in Geneva, Switzerland Andrew had two jobs in the UK as a paintings conservator at Leicestershire Museums and Art Galleries and at the Tate Gallery, London.  In 1985 Andrew and his family moved to Australia to become Head of Conservation at the Australian National Gallery, Canberra (now National Gallery of Australia).  After seven years he moved back to the UK to become Head of Collections Conservation, English Heritage and in 1995 he was appointed Keeper of Conservation, National Museums Liverpool.  Andrew led the development of the Conservation Centre, Liverpool, which was one of the first places in the world where the public were able to learn about conservation through exhibition and visits to conservation studios in person and via video link.  The Conservation Centre was awarded European Museum of the Year in 1998, when it also won the IIC Keck Award.   This was a truly innovative initiative in raising public awareness of conservation and has inspired similar initiatives throughout the world. 

In 2005 Andrew returned to Australia to become Director of Artlab Australia in Adelaide. Artlab provides conservation services for the state collections in South Australia as well as business clients including cultural institutions and private owners.  Andrew became a Fellow of IIC in 2015.  Andrew’s death is all the more untimely as he had recently moved into a part time capacity after being Director of Artlab for nearly 20 years to focus on honouring First Nations art and artefacts, one of his great interests, and spend more time with his wife Linda and family.