Penny Bendall is a renowned conservator of ceramics with 25 years experience working on national and international collections in the field and holds a Royal Warrant for her work. She also works on collections for museums and private clients which include: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Sir John Soanes Museum, Historic Royal Palaces, Burghley House, Christies’ and Sotheby's.
High profile examples of her work include the restoration of the smashed Qing vases at The Fitzwilliam Museum in 2006 and Penny was responsible for condition checking and overseeing the packaging for safe transport of the miniature terracotta warriors in China for a major exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum in 2012.
This timelapse film was made in 2006 and records the sequence and work involved in assembly of one of the three Qing vases from The Fitzwilliam Museum. In real time, the restoration project for all three vases took 6 months and they are now back on display at the Museum.
Art, craft and conservation education have been at the heart of Penny's career. She has a passion for sharing experience and inspiring others. She lectures, teaches and organizes conferences on conservation ethics and aspects of education in the arts for art businesses, art history and art law post graduates, financial institutions, Sotheby's and Christies. Examples include a conference on conservation aimed at the wider audience of the art world held at The V&A in 2009 entitled ‘Methods, Materials and Ethics’. Penny also organized a debate held again at The V&A during London Design Festival Week, in her role as Development Director of QEST. This focused on aspects concerning the preservation of traditional craft skills and the survival and adaptation of craft in a rapidly developing 21st Century.
CONTEMPORARY ART, FUTURE VALUE: DO WE CARE, SHOULD WE CARE?. Penny is currently working in association with Hiscox to present a debate on contemporary art. The debate takes place on 19 May 2015 and will be held at The Royal Institution. It will discuss the effect of conservation issues, such as condition, to the perceived and actual value of Contemporary Art. This debate arises from growing concerns among the conservation and art insurance communities about the impermanence of, and challenges of treating many forms of media used in contemporary art, and hence the likely impact on their long-term monetary investment value. It will look at the issues affecting the permanence of contemporary art, and what artists, investors and collectors should know.
THE CREATIVE DIMENSION. A project led by Penny enabling talented young individuals (aged 14 - 16) to spend time learning a craft by engaging with specialists who are acknowledged leaders in their field. The first course will be held between 27-31 July 2015 at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts covering gilding and parquetry techniques. For more details please visit The Creative Dimension website.
Penny is a former trustee of QEST, and was Development Director during the 2012 Diamond Jubilee campaign which succeeded in doubling the amount of scholarships being awarded annually.
Penny is a trustee of ICON and The Plowden Medal, development consultant for the Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship and on the board for the Lord Mayor of the City of London Cultural Scholarship.