Helene Delaunay

Conservator of Organic Artefacts

Department: Conservation and Scientific Research


+44 (0)20 7323 8252


Helene undertakes preventive and remedial conservation treatments on organic artefacts from different world cultures. She works primarily on ethnographic and Egyptian collections and has a special interest in painted surfaces, feathers and plant materials. She is also responsible for the on-going care of part of the collection on open display.

Helene studied art history at the University of Bordeaux, France. She obtained a Master’s degree in the conservation of painted artefacts (hons) at the Fine Art school of Avignon, France (2001) working on painted masks from Vanuatu (Melanesia).

After a year in Egypt, working on stone and wall painting, she was an A. Mellon fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian (2002/03), Washington D.C., where she worked primarily on North American baskets and was involved in the preparatory work for the opening of the new museum.

Current projects

Preliminary investigation in the use of laser cleaning on organic materials

On going care of objects on open display in the permanent display of the Africa, Oceania and the Americas dept.

Collaboration on the treatment of painted Egyptian coffins as part of a storage improvement project.

Previous projects

Collaboration on exhibitions at the British Museum (Tales of Bengal (2006), Japanese Gallery (permanent from 2006), Past from above (2006-07)) and national and international loans.

Conservation liaison for the Hazina exhibition at the National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi (2005-06).

Collaboration on the Icons project led by Lynne Harrison

Collaboration on the digitalization project of the Stein collection.

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Member of the Institute of Conservation (ICON)

Member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM)

Member of the ICOM Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC)

Recent publications

H. Delaunay, ‘Painted textiles and canvas paintings: a collaborative approach to lining and mounting’, with P. Cruickshank and L. Harrison, The Conservator, 30 (2007)

H. Delaunay,“Etude d’une peinture Cambodgienne en vue de sa conservation” , with S. Cailhol, A. Demongeot, M. Ovianniko, S. Vaneph, C. Viellescazes, Conservation Restauration des Biens Culturels, 11 (1998), pp. 33-38