Fri 6 Jun. 2014

Visit to Plowden & Smith

Educational visit to Plowden & Smith on Friday 6 June 2014 This 2.5 hour visit offered a behind the scenes look at how a leading UK and world specialist in the conservation and restoration of the fine and decorative arts uses its insurance and risk management policies to help support and maintain its reputation as an internationally recognised company.

This visit was hosted by three main officers at Plowden & Smith. The introduction, overview and vision going forward was provided by Kevin Smith, the CEO and son of the co-founder Peter Smith. Kevin explained that Plowden & Smith’s staff have expertise in many areas, including furniture, metalwork, stonework, ceramics, paintings, paper, contemporary art, decorative arts, textiles, conservation framing, mount making and exhibition work. This meant that with the variety and breadth of knowledge of its staff, the company is able to solve even the most complex of issues. In his presentation, Kevin explained that although there were general insurance & risk management matters which covered the company, this wide range and wealth of specialisations would inevitably mean that each specialist area would also bring its own bespoke issues that needed consideration.

These issues were illustrated and explained during the tour by the other two hosts, Sarah Giles and Luke Paton, which included a visit to each of the different sections. For example, Plowden & Smith was contacted to restore one of the few remaining Damascus Rooms in Europe. The room which consists of highly decorative ceiling and wall panels, required pest infestation treatment, cleaning, consolidation of paint as well as structural stabilisation. The restoration work was being carried out at the London workshop and proved a useful example to explain many of the different risk management and insurance aspects. During the tour, Sarah & Luke provided numerous further examples and explanations of typical insurance claims, preparation of estimates and management of clients’ explanations.

By the end of the visit, members will have gained an insight into the general, insurance, and risk management issues which insurance professionals should be aware of when dealing with clients with conservation and restoration of fine and decorative arts as part of their job.

Download the presentation below.