David Bomford

Dr David R L Bomford is Chair of Conservation and Head of European Art at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

David earned a Bachelors degree in chemistry and a Masters in organometallic chemistry from the University of Sussex before moving into the field of art conservation, beginning as an assistant restorer at the National Gallery, London, in 1968.

During his almost 40-year career there, he worked on some of the great masterworks of Western art, including Peter Paul Rubens’ Samson and Delilah, numerous Rembrandts, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and many key Impressionist paintings.

He advanced the study of old master paintings to new levels by combining his scientific knowledge with that of art history and practical conservation. This interdisciplinary approach proved highly influential in the field: his series of Art in the Making catalogues (1988–2004) and his book Conservation of Paintings (1997) have become seminal reference works for students.

David left the National Gallery in 2007 to become Associate Director of Collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles and was made Acting Director of that museum in 2010. In 2012 he joined The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

He has been Secretary General of the International Institute for Conservation, was Slade Professor of Fine Art in the University of Oxford 1996–7, and in 2010 was awarded the Heritage Preservation/College Art Association Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation.


By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Monday, 18 January 2016