Ironwork should not just be black!

One of National Heritage Ironwork Group’s (NHIG) goals is to educate those outside of the fields of conservation, who may have stewardship of historic ironwork, about the importance of proper treatment of decorative ironwork, including the most important recurring conservation process, that of refinishing.

An illustration of the harm that can be inflicted on works of art is the recent act of well-meaning ignorance by the overseers of the Globe Theatre, who had the sumptuously and subtly multi-coloured Globe Theatre Bankside gates painted in thick gloss black, obscuring both the details and the original stainless steel, copper, gemstone and graphite finishes of the many features contributed by artists from all over the world.

Click here for an explanation of the history of colour fashions for decorative ironwork finishes. Black has only been the norm since the 30’s and the new black is… whatever you like.