Conservation is at the heart of the work of the Britten-Pears Foundation. In Britten and Pears’s time The Red House and its contents were lovingly cared for by a succession of housekeepers. Although Pears enjoyed home-making and rearranging the pictures, the care of the art works as physical objects was not of prime importance.
Today, however, preserving The Red House and its extraordinary collection of art and artefacts has become paramount to the Britten-Pears Foundation. The work of caring for the house day to day is undertaken to nationally-recognised standards by a trained Conservation Assistant, while independent conservators with a range of specialisms monitor and conserve the collection.
Agents of deterioration, such as light, heat, humidity and dust are controlled as far as possible to help protect the natural materials which are most vulnerable, including wooden furniture, paper art, and furnishings of natural fibres. Special film was put on all the windows in 2009 to reduce harmful ultra-violet rays, and blinds were put at south-facing windows.