The BBC has recently been broadcasting a fantastic series called Petworth House: The Big Spring Clean, about the conservation work going on at Petworth during the winter season, when the house is closed to the public.
Art historian and presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon is shown joining the National Trust staff at Petworth as they painstakingly clean the contents of the house and wrap the objects up to protect them from light and dust.
The issue of dust, in particular, becomes something of a running gag in the series, as Graham-Dixon is amazed at the National Trust’s scientific approach to analysing what dust consists of and the effects it has.
Graham-Dixon waxes lyrical as he gets to gently dust one of the Turners, but he also ventures outdoors to join the gardens team in their maintenance work on ‘Capability’ Brown’s landscape.
This series really conveys the beauty of historical objects in their original setting and the dedication and expertise that goes into looking after them.