Since the 1950’s, Willard Conservation Ltd has led the way forward in the innovation of conservation tools and equipment for use in the conservation of fine art, textiles and historic media.
Having gained a solid reputation for proven longevity through the highest level of craftsmanship, Willard products are in use throughout the world’s leading galleries, museums and private studios.
Alongside the extensive range of specialist tools and studio equipment, Willard also offer a bespoke design service to cater to the unique requirements of conservators and ground-breaking projects around the globe. We are proud to be one of the only suppliers who manufacture all of our products within our UK workshops to ensure the highest build quality for our customers.
Today, we are committed to supporting the evolution of conservation techniques by working closely with conservators to enhance and improve upon our extensive range of products as well as introduce new tools and equipment.
The company is lead by Paul Willard who joined the family business in the early 1980’s and worked closely with his Father, Jack Willard for more than 25 years. Paul and his team of specialist Technicians continue to manufacture all Willard products at our UK workshops to ensure only quality products are given Willard stamp of approval.
Willard hand tools, suction equipment, easels, washing tables and many other products are in daily use in leading museums, galleries, archives and in private conservation studios of all sizes around the world.
Paul Willard (4th from right)
The Willard family business began making conservation equipment in the 1950’s when Jack Willard, an engineer and toolmaker, produced the very first commercial Heated Spatula in the UK, for a young trainee conservator living in Chichester. This was soon followed by requests from Conservators across the UK for additional tools.
In 1974, Jack Willard presented his pioneering vacuum lining table technology at The Greenwich Lining Conference. In the mid 1980's, the new Willard Multi Function table, which was developed in collaboration with Tony Reeve of the National Gallery, London, went on to be featured on BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. This technology was gradually followed by the development of a range of tools and equipment designed and built to meet specific conservation needs around the World. Jack Willard passed away in 2007 at the age of 79. He dedicated most of his working life to the production of high quality, innovative products for the advancement of conservation methods and techniques and was awarded an MBE in 1997 for his outstanding achievements. Closer to home, we are keen supporters of The Edward James Foundation at West Dean College and regularly provide student awards and support.
First commercial Heated Spatula in the UK produced by Willard
Conservator sitting at the 1960's Willard electrically operated easel
Our commitment to innovation was first showcased by our founder, Jack Willard MBE with his Willard vacuum lining table technology, which paved the way forward for a new generation of conservation processes. Willard Conservation continue to work in close collaboration with conservators to expand and refine the range of art conservation supplies, tools & equipment available. Another advantage of the Willard ‘hands on’ approach is the ability to offer a truly bespoke service to tailor equipment to meet precise needs. As well as helping to find answers to new conservation challenges using reliable and proven Willard technology, our many years of
industry experience combined with our forward thinking approach prove invaluable in finding the best solutions available.
The company’s primary objectives are to meet the needs of its customers both now and long into the future with the continued development of reliable tools and equipment combined with excellent customer service based on traditional values. We are a trusted, manufacturer and global supplier of specialist products for use in conservation. We are committed to the production of responsibly manufactured products using sustainable sources to ensure our environmental impact is kept to the minimum possible level.
Ethos of Support
Not only are Willard products unique, but we think our business ethos is unique too. When you purchase any product from Willard, you can be assured that part of the purchase price will be donated straight back into the conservation industry to help further the conservation profession. We are delighted to be able to provide continued support and sponsorship wherever possible to help advance conservation training and techniques.
We are the founding corporate sponsors of the Anna Plowden Trust, whose work includes the provision of grants for conservation training, assisting both trainee and qualified conservators to enhance their skills. We also regularly sponsor conservation related events and conferences around the World. Closer to home, we are keen supporters of our local Chichester art gallery, Pallant House which hosts a diverse schedule of exhibitions.
As a result of our outstanding build quality and proven longevity, all tools and equipment manufactured in our UK workshops are built to last. Our solid reputation for long lasting craftsmanship makes Willard tools and equipment, the sustainable choice for conservation.
We are committed to the production of responsibly manufactured products using sustainable sources and ensuring our environmental impact is kept to the minimum possible level. We are also pleased to use only recycled or biodegradable materials in our packaging.