Nicky Newman

Senior conservator of organic artefacts

Department: Conservation and Scientific Research


+44 (0)20 7323 8252


Nicky is the studio manager for the organics studio at the British Museum. The studio specialises in the treatment of organic ancient Egyptian material and decorative surfaces, predominantly from Asia. She is also responsible for staff and interns within the studio.

Nicky undertakes conservation of the Museum’s organic collections which includes practical conservation and advice on objects for display, loan, study and storage. She specialises in the treatment of 3-D painted surfaces and lacquer.

Nicky trained at the London Guildhall University and at the Institute of Archaeology. She worked for Historic Royal Palaces before joining the British Museum staff in 1999.

Current projects

Research project – Lead conservator for the Conservation and re-mounting of ancient Egyptian funerary portraits. A collaborative project between conservation, curators and external colleagues.

Research project – Corrosion of lead caused by organic acids in Japanese lacquer boxes. A collaborative project with metals conservation.

Conservation project – Conservation of a Middle Kingdom coffin, stabilisation of the structure and decorative surface of this large chest coffin.

Conservation project – Conservation of objects for the new Nebamun galleries for the department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan.

Conservation project – conservation of lacquer objects for China Ancient and Modern, a touring UK based loan.

Previous projects

Conservation of Monju seated on a lion. A large lacquer sculpture currently on display in the Japanese galleries.

Conservation of a coffin and cartonnage covered mummy for the exhibition Mummy: the inside story.

Conservation of a large, painted Indian processional lion.

Conservation of Samurai armour for a temporary exhibition in Room 3 and for the Japanese galleries.

Conservation of Totem poles and large North American sculptures for the Wellcome galleries and the Great Court.

Conservation of Lacquered Qing porcelain for the Qing Lacquer catalogue by Jessica Harison-Hall.

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Accredited conservator (Decorative Surfaces) with the Institute of Conservation (ICON)

Member of the Institute of Conservation (ICON)

Recent publications

N. Newman, 'Methods of conserving Ancient Egyptian painted surfaces at the British Museum', in A paper prepared for the Ethnographic Paint Seminar. UKIC Ethnography Section, De Montfort University, Lincoln, (19th July 2001)