As part of the curriculum at the University of Melbourne’s Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation course, students are required to go out into the world and obtain work experience at heritage institutions across Australia. Here are a few updates on where some of our students have been and/or are going:
Maite Robayo completed her three-week internship at the Grimwade Commercial Conservation Services objects lab here in Melbourne. Supervised by Jacinta Brown and Holly Jones-Amin, she had the opportunity to work with a wide range of materials, such as metals, archaeological ceramics, textiles, wood, frames, and paper. On the job she learned different approaches for decision making, condition reporting, and treatment techniques. She found it especially helpful in developing her work around team projects and treatment schedules.
Michael Davies spent his three-week internship at the Australian War Memorial Annex in the paper labs in Canberra. He worked alongside conservators Gajendra Rawat, Kassandra O’Hare, and Jessica Goodvinn in preparing items for the touring exhibition Hearts and Minds: Wartime Propoganda and on their broader paper-based collections.
Alice Hackworth, studying paper conservation, will be travelling to Stockholm, Sweden, to take part in a three-month internship at the Kungliga Biblioteket (National Library of Sweden). The institution is both a library and a national agency, collecting since 1661. The Kungliga Biblioteket is home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest preserved medieval manuscript, the Kodex Gigas (Devil’s Bible). During her internship she will be assisting with the conservation treatments of some 17th century De la Gardie prints, condition reporting, preventive conservation including IPM and book freezing, as well as testing enzyme cleaning techniques and book repair.
Daniel Schwartz, an objects conservation student, will be doing an extended four-month internship at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canada. The internship will include various projects working with the stored collection, conducting gallery audits, participating in conservation projects such as the maintenance of the outdoor totem pole collection, and working with the exhibited collections, as well as other tasks.
Heather Berry, an objects conservation student, is heading off to Perth, WA, to intern at the Shipwrecks Museum for three weeks. There, she will be working with the maritime archaeological artefact collection.
Laura Daenke, another paper conservation student, will be representing the Grimwade Centre for a three-month internship at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She will be conducting conservation treatments, as well as assisting in their research on materials, techniques, and condition. Laura will also be working with the exhibitions conservation team, writing condition reports, preparing works for exhibition, installation and de-installation.
Lisa Mansfield, former SC@M President, travelled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) to undertake a five-week internship. During her time there, she worked with media conservator Martina Haidvogl and registrar Grace Weiss on Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher’s Learning to Love you More (2002–09). The conservation work will contribute to her minor thesis research looking at the conservation of net-based artwork.
Murphy Bouma, a paintings conservation student, interned at the National Gallery of Victoria paintings lab, working with Raymonda Rajkowski. She assisted with technical examinations and treatment on a painting by Indigenous artist Billy Japaljarri Hogan, as well as conducting collection surveys on Indigenous bark paintings. She also assisted with technical examinations on artworks from the British collections, which will be part of an online database that gives enhanced access to the public to learn more about conservation.