Clyde Street

Learning, Teaching, Performing

Conservators

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A year ago I wrote about Brigita Ozolins and her Reading Room show at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

I liked the idea that the Reading Room was an immersive, interactive environment about the magic world of books and reading.

The gallery walls were painted red and were lined with thousands of books. There were comfy chairs and couches so that visitors could sit back and listen to people from all walks of life in Tasmania reading a passage from one of their favourite books. Visitors could pick up a book and start reading themselves!

One year on I am delighted to discover that another Museum has a fascinating, immersive exhibition.

The National Museum of Australia is hosting a Museum Workshop: The Art, Science and Craft of the Conservator exhibition that offers a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes world of the conservation team.  Four activities have been announced:

  • Conservators preparing photo albums and period costumes for the upcoming exhibition, Glorious Days: Australia 1913, opening in March 2013.
  • The technology team working on the 1948 Daimler car used by Queen Elizabeth II during her 1954 tour of Australia.
  • How conservators treat cracks and splits in Aboriginal bark paintings.
  • Conservators servicing the Museum’s chronometer collection.

These workshops have focused my thinking about curation … a theme in a number of my posts here on Clyde Street. I like the idea that at the Museum:

… conservators are responsible for the physical care and preservation of the collection. They examine and describe objects, identify and analyse their characteristics and develop ways to repair and prevent damage.

When conservators look at objects they see what we see, and enjoy the historical and aesthetic significance of objects. But they also see and focus on the potential for deterioration within objects, treating any damage that has already occurred and responding to the challenges of caring for the collection into the future.

Photo Credit

National Museum of Australia

Author: Keith Lyons

Clyde Street has been my WordPress blog since June 2008. I write about learning, teaching and performing.

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