Emily Howe

Lecturer, Conservation of Wall Painting

Emily Howe is a conservator specialising in the investigation and analysis of wall painting materials and techniques. Her approach is inter-disciplinary, encompassing non-invasive recording and examination, art historical research and sample-based analysis, with a view to informing appropriate conservation strategies. Having studied at The 鶹Ƶ for a Master’s degree in medieval art and architecture (1998), she subsequently worked as an Assistant Curator at the V&A Museum, before returning to The 鶹Ƶ to undertake a 3-year MA in the Conservation of Wall Painting (2004). She went on to pursue a career in private practice, with research focussing on English medieval wall paintings and sculptural polychromy. She has worked on some of the country’s most iconic painting schemes, including those in Westminster Abbey, Eton College and Hampton Court Palace, and has taught microscopy to Conservation students at the 鶹Ƶ since 2006. Emily was appointed Lecturer in the Conservation of Wall Painting Department in 2018, and is currently leading a project to digitise and make available online the 鶹Ƶ’s renowned National Wall Paintings Survey.

Research interests

• The materials and techniques of English medieval wall painting, painted sculpture and architectural polychromy
• Non-invasive investigation and sample-based analysis of wall painting materials (PLM and SEM-EDX analysis)
• The ritual and devotional function of wall paintings in their physical context
• The life and legacy of pioneering wall painting conservator E.W. Tristram

PhD supervision

• Sanjay Dhar, ‘Assessing and managing risks to Buddhist wall paintings in Ladakh’, supervised with Professor Christine Stevenson and Professor Deborah Swallow (completed 2021)
• Sreekumar Menon, ‘Early period Buddhist wall paintings of Ladakh from the 11th to early-13th century: materials, techniques & conservation implications’, co-supervised with Professor Aviva Burnstock (completed 2022)

Major Grants

3 major grants secured towards the National Wall Paintings Survey project:

• Paul Mellon Centre, Digital Project Grant (2021)
• Pilgrim Trust, Preservation and Conservation grant (2021)
• Marc Fitch Fund, major project grant (2022)


A current list of publications can be found