The Michael Legg Conservation Studies Prize is awarded to a student at the City and Guilds of London Art School completing the first year of their BA (Hons.) Conservation studies Course who has shown particular excellence in research.
Michael Legg (1929 – 2011) was a founder member and Vice President of the Regional Furniture Society. He was a Trustee of the Frederick Parker Foundation, and active for many years in the Furniture History Society, the Antiquarian Horological Society and beyond.
Michael’s abiding love of fine furniture, indeed quality in every field, began aged 10 in the restoration workshop of his father, Ernest Legg, whose Antiques business in Dorchester, Dorset, was widely known between and after the wars. After he left school at 14, Michael rented a room from his father and began to deal on his own account, in time taking over the running of the workshop which became a lifelong career in Dorchester. Michael’s experience at the workbench was crucial to his practical knowledge and his constant fascination with discovering how and why things were made the way they were and how they were used. He was a man of rare memory, and his generosity in sharing knowledge was legendary, especially with younger students of regional furniture.
2019 – Miyuki Kajiwara
This study focused on the Museum of London collection of plastic banners from the Brian Haw Peace Camp. My research into heat degradation of soft PVC and the changes in optical, physical, and chemical composition identified weight loss, surface yellowing, loss of elasticity and salt formation on the surface. The research was immensely insightful for understanding the design and behaviour of modern materials and helped me suggest alternative methods for the storage and handling of soft PVC objects in museums.
2018 – Anna Ng
In collaboration with the Watts Gallery in Compton, Surrey, my project was to assist in the ongoing research of the materials that Mary Watts used in the Watts Chapel built in 1898. It involved taking samples from the interior murals and analysis of the paint cross-sections under PLM Microscopy. My findings informed our team’s condition assessment and treatment proposal, it also confirmed the many stories of Mary Watt’s love for experimentation. This experience gave me a keen insight into unorthodox methodologies. Thank you for your support.
Previous awards have been made to:
2017 – Tina Kenward
My project was to help research the history of the building and furniture at Raynham Hall, Norfolk built in 1617. It involved visiting the RIBA archives and Norfolk Records Office and my findings informed our group assessment and treatment proposals for painted and gilded Kentian furniture including two Charles II benches from the Belisarius suite. The experience gave me a keen interest in archival research. Thank you for supporting us.
2016 – Amaris Dixon
2015 – Trevor Boyd