Pippa Balch

Lecturer, Conservation and Technology

Pippa Balch read biochemistry at Bristol University (BSc Hons 1990) before studying the conservation and restoration of easel paintings at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge (PGDip Cons 1996). She undertook an internship in The Netherlands from 1995-1997, working on paintings in museums and private collections there. From 1997 until 2007 she worked in private practice in London as a conservator-restorer of paintings from the 15th to 20th centuries. In December 2002 she was appointed Lecturer (part-time) at The Courtauld.

As well as teaching in the Department of Conservation and Technology, she is currently undertaking the conservation and study of Gerino da Pistoia’s Virgin and Child with Saints Lawrence, John the Baptist, Monica and Augustine belonging to the Courtauld Gallery.

Teaching 2020-21

Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Easel Paintings

  • Practical conservation and restoration of easel paintings, and technical study of materials and techniques
  • Cleaning – the history of, approaches and current methods for the cleaning of paintings
  • Retouching – approaches and materials for the reintegration of losses in paintings
  • Replica making – reconstructions of paintings using historical methods and materials
  • Picture varnishes – history and materials

Research interests

  • Practical Conservation and Restoration of Easel Paintings
  • Approaches and attitudes towards the cleaning and restoration of paintings
  • Materials and Techniques of paintings

Recent/major grants

  • Clothworkers’ Foundation Conservation Fellowship 2011-2013. The Study and Conservation of the Courtauld Gallery’s “Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Lawrence, John the Baptist, Monica and Augustine” by Gerino da Pistoia, dated 1510.

Other current/ongoing professional activities

  • Chair of the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers