National Gallery of Australia
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
As usual, the NGA’s conservation team has been working on a wide variety of new and changing exhibitions. Just a few weeks ago, all conservation sections were involved in a significant change-over in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) galleries. This refresh saw the installation of some fantastic works that are new to the collection, as well as some favourites that have been resting. Objects, paper and loans conservators were also involved occupied briefly with the deinstallation of James Turrell: a retrospective, although the bulk of the work on this massive show has gone to construction contractors, whose job it is now to demolish the impressive light installations.
Paper Conservation (Andrea Wise, James Ward, Fiona Kemp and Rose Peel) and Mountcutting (Kassandra O’Hare) have also been involved with condition checking and installing the The story of Rama: Indian miniatures from the National Museum, New Delhi, in which the Ramayana is told through one hundred and one paintings, each illustrating a key moment from the narrative. The paintings come from a variety of schools and regions, using different styles. Fiona Kemp continues her work on the development of audiovisual procedures, having put them to use in the preparation of a travelling audio visual exhibition, Light Moves, now installed in its first venue.
There’s never a dull moment for loans conservator Jane Wild who continues to assess venues and prepare documentation for the NGA loans and exhibition program. In the last financial year the conservation section processed 708 works of art (over a 1000 condition reports!) for 204 outgoing loans. There were 27 inward loans with 144 incoming works. The majority of these works were for display in our temporary exhibition space with exciting exhibitions such Atua: Gods of Polynesia which later travelled to St Louis Art Museum, more recently James Turrell: A retrospective and the upcoming Myth + Magic: art of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea.
Objects conservators (Beata Tworek-Matuszkiewicz and Jack Dallwitz) are also working on a number of upcoming exhibition projects, as well as outgoing loans. Meg Absolon is leading the charge in preparing NGA works for Myth + Magic: art of the Sepik River, as well as coordinating with registration to receive numerous incoming loans for the show. Sarah McHugh is also assisting with Myth + Magic, visiting the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby a few months ago. Kasi Albert has started readying objects for an upcoming decorative art and design exhibition, as well as continuing to work through a massive new acquisition of early Australian silver and metal ware.
Preventive Conservation (Lisa Addison and Cheree Martin) have been working with AQIS and treating large sculptures for the Myth + Magic show. Lisa has also been working with Donna Hinton AGNSW in investigating the air quality showcases, in particular the issue of fogging within cases: causes and impact on the care of the collection.
In recent weeks the paintings team (David Wise, Jocelyn Evans, Sharon Alcock, Greg Howard, & Allan Byrne) have individually and collectively completed major treatments on artworks by Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Vida Lahey, George Webb, David Aspden, Michael Johnson and Arthur Boyd, in preparation for exhibition or loan.
The paintings team are also currently considering ‘I’ll put a girdle around the world’ by Mervyn Napier Waller for treatment; this is a triptych painted as his design for the façade of Newspaper House in Melbourne (the resultant mural is still ‘on display’ for all to see on the exterior of 247-249 Collins street, Melbourne).
In paper conservation a new collection of Japanese screens and scrolls is in the process of being condition checked and safely rehoused prior to any treatment. Rose Peel continues with the monumental task of debinding and treating the collection of 19th century French satirical newspapers, Le Charivari.
Textile conservation have been very busy working on items for several loans over the past few months. Claudia Motolese, Micheline Ford and Blaide Lallemand have been working on toys, doilies, embroideries, Asian textiles and a group of Robert McPherson blankets all going to a variety of venues both here in Australia and overseas as well as a collection of 9 quilts going on loan to Hazlehurst Art Gallery. A Possum skin cloak presented an interesting conservation issue of fatty acid bloom on the surface of friable red ochre, removed by brush vacuuming under the microscope. Melissa Bolin has been working with us on a short term contract whilst Hannah Barrett was overseas on leave and also attending and presenting a paper at the AIC conference in Miami.
National Archives of Australia – National Office, Mitchell Conservation Laboratory
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize is now showing at the South Australian Museum and includes content from the National Archives of Australia. The exhibition will travel to Canberra in November this year.
Sally Kneebone, along with Laura Daenke and Caterina Agostinetto have completed a project on a series of panoramic photographs from our A1861 artistic copyright (1907 – 1969) series. In all, around 200 panoramas were rehoused into 24 outsized custom archival folders.
Caroline Milne and Clair Murray have completed the treatment of a six-sheet colour advertising poster for Robur Tea, printed in the late 1890s. The poster is part of our A1719 Artistic Copyright (1871 – 1913) series and required cleaning, flattening and lining before digitisation could proceed. Once each sheet has been scanned the full image will be created by digitally stitching each sheet together. It was decided to keep the original sheets separate for the time being to save on having to store an awkwardly outsized poster.
Lab staff are still processing files affected by water leaks in the February and April downpours. Our Freezer has been working hard to buy us some time before mould sets in.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
Prue McKay will be travelling to Prague soon to attend a Getty Conservation Institute course called “photographs and their environment: decision-making for sustainability”, from 13-24 July at the Institute of Art History, Prague which will be instructed by Bertrand Lavédrine and Sylvie Pénichon.
New South Wales
State Library of NSW
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
The State Library is committed to enhancing public access to our collections through a busy outgoing loans program. Recently three items travelled to Adelaide for the Art Gallery of South Australia’s exhibition Treasures Ships: Art in the Age of Spices. The complex logistics of the loan were managed by Caroline Lorentz and Lauren Dalla of our Exhibitions and Loans team. This was especially challenging given the size of two of the items: the Miranda and Gijsbertz maps, each having at least one dimension over a meter. These maps are historically significant and visually stunning but pose some conservation challenges due to the large vellum substrate. Prior to the loan being dispatched conservators re-tensioned the string mounting systems and sealed the frames with Marvel Seal to create a microclimate for the sensitive material. Due to the significance and fragility of these items, conservator Cath Bartley travelled with them for the two-day trip from Sydney and across the Hay plain to Adelaide to oversee their transport and installation. The exhibition will be displayed at the Art Gallery of South Australia from 13 June 2015 to 30 August 2015 and will then travel to the Art Gallery of Western Australia for display from 9 October 2015 to 31 January 2016.
At the end of June, Conservator Kate Hughes is travelling to Queensland Art Gallery to install some of the Libraries most significant photographic materials for the travelling exhibition The Photograph and Australia. Recently the items were on display at the Art Gallery of NSW. The items will be on display in Queensland from 4 July to 11 October.
SURVEYS & ASSESSMENTS
Barbara (Basia) Dabrowa is undertaking a survey and assessment of the condition of more than 1700 framed objects including oil paintings, watercolours, pastels, photographs, maps and their frames in preparation for their relocation to an updated storage area at the Library. A future project will be to assess 499 historic empty frames with the aim to reunite them with their original paintings. Some stabilisation of the artworks and frames will be undertaken prior to the move. The Collection Care team have been assisting Barbara with this survey and her deep gratitude goes to all of them.
Conservators Steven Bell and Kate Hughes have commenced the documentation and assessment for one of the Library’s premier items, a fair copy of James Cook’s Endeavour Journal written by his clerk Richard Orton. It presents a challenging combination of failing book structure, iron gall ink deterioration and long-term light exposure. This treatment is being undertaken in anticipation of the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s landing in Australia.
In the Collection Care Laboratory is an amazing item that deserves our attention, a panorama of Sydney by Charles Bayliss for Bernard Holtermann Circa 1870s. This albumen print is made up of 22 segments attached to a canvas backing creating a panorama of Sydney measuring 9.98 metres in length. In its life it has been rolled and folded for storage, which has caused extensive damage throughout the whole image, especially at section joints. The panorama has suffered tears, losses of image and major delamination. The conservation of this item is being led by Senior Conservator Nichola Parshall with the team of Wendy Richards, Kate Hughes, Ana Barros Soares Watts, Cath Bartley, Trish Leen and Lang Ngo.
Heights Heritage Conservation
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
In May, Tess Evans was in Brisbane for the deinstallation and packing of the costumes from the Costumes from the Golden Age of Hollywood’ Exhibition, just after it won first prize for ‘Best Temporary Exhibition’ at this year’s MAGNA.
It’s been a busy year so far, with lots of varied projects from the conservation, mounting and framing of an enormous pre Civil War American Flag, in private ownership, to the conservation and preparation for display of a beautiful pair of C17th ladies silk shoes for the National Trust of Australia.
Work has now started on a collection of costumes going on permanent display in the new Slim Dusty Centre, in Kempsey and more Hollywood costumes for the ‘Orry Kelly’ Exhibition at ACMI in August.
In March, Tess Evans attended the ICON Textile Forum in London and presented her research poster ‘Breaking the Mould’; investigating the use of STERI-7 to remove mould from Cultural Heritage, and in collaboration with Steri-7, has now produced a new and improved formulation, which will hopefully be on the market shortly. The National Trust and English Heritage have now begun using the product.
International Conservation Services
The Objects and Outdoor Heritage team have been busy working on various projects in the lead up to the end of the financial year. Karina Acton, Katy Ross, Nick Flood and Bronwyn Tulloh recently spent 2 sunny weeks in Brisbane assessing a large collection of public artworks. Meanwhile, Eoin O’Sullivan also spent time in Brisbane to complete treatment of a bronze sculpture. Work continues on a wide range of other objects including the desalination of several cannonballs from a collection of maritime archaeological objects, conservation of the James Dalton fountain in Orange, and condition assessing historic missiles at Woomera.
Adam Godijn and Doug Rogan have been working at Old Parliament House on the coats of arms. The outdoor gilding on top of a scaffold presented many challenges including the freezing Canberra Conditions (-6), numb fingers, and wind that could send even the transfer leaf sailing off to Lake Burley Griffin.
The paper team (Eliza Penrose, Wendi Powell, and Katie Wood) recently spent two intensive weeks working on site at the National Archives of Australia in Chester Hill along with Rob Williams. With much help and hard work from temporary project staff Rosie Cook, Kiah McCarthy, and Dominic King, they were able to carry out surface cleaning, mould remediation, and rehousing of over 800 boxes full of documents, books, and ephemera.
Katie Wood and Eliza Penrose worked on site at the Downing Centre cleaning and repairing several sections of historic wallpaper that were uncovered during renovations.
In the paintings department, Matteo Volonté has had a Scandinavian focus, working on a painting by a Norwegian artist who grew up in Paris amongst names like Henri Matisse, and a Still life by a well-known Danish painter, scenographer and illustrator. Claire Heasman has been occupied cleaning a number of oil paintings by Peter Laverty in preparation for a retrospective exhibition at Artarmon Gallery. Claire is currently working on an unusual portrait of Alderman Francis Punch, who was mayor of North Sydney from 1890 – 92, where the artist seems to have used a combination of traditional oil paint and a photographic technique.
Claire Heasman, Matteo Volonté, Arek Werstak, and Adam Godijn carried out maintenance work on the Muswellbrook Reconciliation Mural, including removal of graffiti.
Skye Firth and Gail Hamilton have been treating soft furnishings for Sydney Living Museums, several World War Two Silk Escape Maps and the Bicentennial Tapestry belonging to Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre.
Preservation Australia and Conservation Resources
In the last month, we finally finished the long-term project with NSW Lands and Property Information (formerly NSW Department of Lands) where we were preparing their plans for safe digitisation prior to moving the collection to State Records. This project was ongoing since 2004, so finishing it was cause for a glass or two of champagne! Then two weeks later we were contacted by another government agency that has…..a plan collection that needs digitizing.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
In May, Tegan Anthes presented a paper at the national Museums Australia conference in Sydney about her work on an astrographic glass plate collection. It is a collaborative project (still ongoing) with The Powerhouse Museum, Australian Disaster Recovery, and Preservation Australia to recover a collection of glass plates recording star locations through a survey undertaken in the 1880’s. The plates had been stored away for years and the collection very nearly lost until the decision was made to re-locate the collection at The Powerhouse Museum.
Video Conferencing Workshop – In early June, Kay Söderlund presented one of our standard workshops via video to a group of museum volunteers in Broken Hill. This was organised through EdTV and hosted by The Australian Museum. While there were a few technical hiccoughs, it all went surprisingly smoothly and looks like it might be an effective way of offering conservation expertise to remote and regional museums.
We also held our ‘Tips and Tools’ session which was well attended with a variety of paper conservators sharing ideas, tips, favourite tools, stories – and fabulous cake!
For the last 18 months, Tess Evans of Heights Heritage Conservation, has rented a small space in our studio in Annandale. Tess is now working on larger projects and is only using this space sporadically. Consequently, this space is available for short-term rental – or if there is a conservator interested in a long-term option we are happy to discuss this further. The space is lovely and light-filled – with excellent cake and coffee!
Elwing & Gurney archival, Lawson
We have been repairing and digitising contract plans of R.O. Wynn properties in Mount Wilson and a Victorian photo album.
Book reconstructions have included ‘Household Furniture’, a 1760 book of designs in four parts on single sheets, which was made into sections and taken back to the four parts of the original stabbed format, and a 1903 copy of ‘Just So Stories For Little Children’ by Rudyard Kipling which required repair to all section folds.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
James Elwing and Jill Gurney ran six conservation workshops for Royal North Shore and Nepean Hospital volunteers caring for cultural collections in March and April. These were conducted at their premises in Lawson.
It has been a privilege to work with these volunteers, many of whom are retired nurses who had held responsible positions within their institutions, thus having an understanding of process.
Units on the kinds of materials held in these collections were given, on books, photographs, textiles, ceramics, metals and plastics; individually and in combination, together with the effects of environment and handling.
Hands-on work included book supports and cases, photograph storage, clamshell boxes, padded textile hangers, and improving original picture frames to make them safe for display.
With each of these, the participants went home with the models they had made.
We have yet to supply a seventh day in which to discuss and clarify issues raised by the the workshops, and supply printed learner resources to participants.
Australian National Maritime Museum
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
Staff have been busy working on several new exhibitions, including: War at Sea-The Navy in WW1 is now travelling to eleven regional museums over the next 4 years, after its initial 7 months display at ANMM. Shackleton: Escape from Antarctica and Painting for Antarctica: Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis follow Shackleton both opened in April.
Undiscovered (June 27- Nov 15) is a striking series of 10 large-scale photographic works by celebrated Aboriginal Artist Michael Cook, from the Bidjara people of southwest Queensland. An exhibition to mark NAIDOC week 2015, Undiscovered provides a contemporary Indigenous perspective of European settlement in Australia, a land already populated by its original people. Cook’s artworks shift roles and perspectives around the notion of European ‘discovery’ of Australia, reflecting upon our habitual ways of thinking and seeing our history. The exhibition also includes two indigenous nawi watercraft – a large dugout canoe and a smaller raft, both from the ANMM collection.
South Australia/Northern Tertitory
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
This year has been very exhibition driven in the Objects Lab. In February we enjoyed the company of the French team from Les Arts Decoratifs, Paris, as we assisted our own Textile Lab to take down “Fashion Icons” at the Art Gallery of SA.
Justin Gare prepared a WWI exhibition for the South Australian Maritime Museum before giving the Art Gallery of South Australia his all to prepare the vast exhibition “Treasure Ships: Art in the Age of Spices” for display and travel to Perth. Over the past few months the whole Objects Lab has been diligently focused on this epic task with the assistance of Object Conservators Helen Behrens and Megan Sypek.
Whilst in ‘Treasures’ mode, Jo Dawe organised the display and packing of the 12 previous winners of the Waterhouse Art Prize Exhibition from the South Australian Museum including an exquisite but fragile ‘lace’ collar constructed from plant filaments.
The Lab is now returned to an orderly appearance but we still have crates being filled to travel two collections from the South Australian Museum – fossils to Japan and PNG Sepik Art to Canberra, two of the many projects coordinated by Renita Ryan. We are also assisting with the South Australian Museum’s Opal exhibition and the ongoing storage project in the Foreign Ethnology Store.
Filipa Quintela has been surveying and stabilising bark paintings and buckets that have been on very long term open display at the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery of the South Australian Museum. Unfortunately Filipa has found new evidence of touchy-feely-naughty-visitors so she will be making recommendations to prevent further damage.
Sophie Parker finally finished the treatment and storage/display box of Major Genders Cavalry sword and attachments for History SA. Major Genders represented South Australia with his dress sword regalia at the opening of the Melbourne Parliament and Federation in 1901. The sword and attachments were much improved in appearance by a conservation treatment which was a lovely mix of textiles, leather and metals.
Other treatments have involved the joint efforts of the Projects & Objects Labs. These include the waxing and polishing of the reinstalled bronze John Dowie Gates at the new Adelaide Oval and the treatment of the bronze Mary McKillop Sculpture by Judith Rolevink outside the Catholic Cathedral, both managed by Ian Miles.
Meanwhile, Abby Maxwell-Bowen worked over her pregnant bump as she cleaned & repaired two marble sculptures: Queen Esther from the Art Gallery of South Australia including restoration of her hand mirror, and substantially transforming La Plongeuse (The Diver) from the Riddoch Art Gallery. She also reinstalled four large sculptures at the Adelaide Oval.
The entire Paintings team has been concentrating on the treatment of the hand painted ceiling, cornice and frieze decorations in the historic Ayres House Ballroom. Home of the late Sir Henry Ayers the house is the last surviving mansion of its era on the southern side of North Terrace in the city of Adelaide. The interior decorations were hand stencilled room after room with the formal dining room ceiling, treated in 2013 by Artlab, still regarded as the most significant hand painted ceiling in the country. Restoration work was last undertaken in the Ballroom the 1980-90s. Current treatment has involved selective surface cleaning, consolidating flaking and lifting paint layers, filling and retouching of losses as well as the repair of a number of cracks.
Rita Costabile has also been focusing much of her time on exhibition preparation for the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Treasure Ships exhibition.
The Art Gallery of South Australia’s Treasure Ships exhibition has also been a major focus for the Paper team who have all been very busy undertaking condition reports, making travel boxes and installing items.
The Paper team have also been working through copying and rehousing a large collection of water damaged hospital files.
Jodie Scott has undertaken repairs to the label on a very valuable bottle of Penfolds Grange.
The ANZAC Day Centenary has meant Projects has been predominantly busy with treatments for War Memorials, Honour Rolls and other related material. However providing advice and condition checking for various outdoor bronzes by Ken Martin and Judith Rolevink at the Adelaide Oval introduced a sporting theme to the Projects’ work diary and some long-overdue treatment to a Bourdelle outdoor bronze at the Art Gallery of South Australia is also underway.
The Paintings and Projects Lab’s joint work opportunities continue as the teams combine resources and expertise to investigate options to improve the exterior appearance of several heritage railway carriages.
The textiles team have welcomed Lotta Ekman to the lab. Lotta is a Textile Conservation student from Finland undertaking a 3 month internship with us. She has been assisting with a wide range of projects including stabilising the body of a mid-19th century doll, treating silk handkerchiefs from WWI and disguising losses on printed Asian textiles with carefully painted patches.
Kristin Phillips and Mary-Anne Gooden with the assistance of Anna Austin, Tessa Bell and Barbara Flaum have been busy treating, preparing and installing textile and costume items for the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Treasure Ships exhibition.
The Migration Museum’s exhibition Love a good yarn: knitting & crotchet from Nanna to now also required the preparation of a number of items by Mary-Anne Gooden including a very quirky mix & match 3-sided vest!
SURVEYS & ASSESSMENTS
In April, Andrew Durham visited the Ambedkar Museum in Nagpur, India. The museum is a memorial to Babasheb Ambedkar, the principal architect of the Constitution of India but also revered today as a champion of the Untouchables, or Dalits, and campaigner against social injustice against them. Andrew was able to survey the collection and make recommendations for its future care & display.
Stuart Fuller and Rosie Heysen were fortunate enough to undertake a Preservation Needs Assessment of The Peterborough Times Printing Office in Peterborough, South Australia under the National Library of Australia’s Community Heritage Grant scheme.
Anne Dineen also completed a Preservation Needs Assessment for the John McDouall Stuart Society collection. John McDouall Stuart was an early explorer of northern South Australia and the Northern Territory with the Society’s collection including artefacts and memorabilia from explorations and the daily lives of Stuart and his companions.
CONFERENCES & EVENTS
In May, Andrew Durham participated in the Premier of South Australia’s Shandong Cooperation and Development Forum as a member of the Arts and Cultural Delegation.
Senior Preventive Conservator Anne Dineen and Stuart Fuller have been continuing to provide a range of handling, digitisation and disaster related workshops to attendees from a range of regional and locally based collections including the South Australian Aviation Museum located at Port Adelaide.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
Hobart has been embracing winter and has just finished another very successful DarkMofo celebration. Conservation staff have all been involved in exhibition preparation, most notably ‘Ashes to Ashes’ a quirky look at Georgian and Victorian death rituals including objects, textiles, paintings and works on paper held at one of our historic houses, Narryna; and an exhibition of paintings of the Antarctic by John Kelly held at our city site. And no, we did not take part in the Winter Solstice Nude Swim.
Currently Object Conservator Nikki King Smith is cleaning and preparing a mind boggling assortment of jars and bottles from a Chemist shop that operated in Hobart between 1907-1970. The jars and bottles will be part of a reconstruction of the shop to be installed at our city site in July. Painting Conservator Erica Burgess has been working on an eclectic array of paintings from our collection to be included in a massive exhibition to be held in 2016 entitled ‘Tempest’. Paper Conservator Cobus van Breda is working on an exhibition of 19th century panoramas to be exhibited in January 2016.
National Gallery of Victoria
LOANS & EXHIBITIONS
Several upcoming exhibitions have required conservators of all specialities to carry out treatment and preparation of works for display. The largest of these, The Horse is due to open in August and draws on over two hundred objects artworks from the collection. The exhibition is panoramic in its historical breadth and encyclopaedic in its range of materials which has kept conservators Trude Ellingsen, Ruth Shervington, Louise Wilson, Siobhan O’Donovan and Kate Douglas busy as they treat a range of works that range from ancient Greek vases and Durer etchings to framed oil paintings, saddles and riding garments.
In March, Catherine Earley and Suzi Shaw spent several days in China condition reporting and couriering works to Melbourne from the Forbidden Palace as part of the lavish ‘A Golden Age of China: Qianlong Emperor, 1736–1795’ exhibition and are retracing their steps as they accompany the works at exhibition close in late June.
Funding from the Copland Foundation has made possible the treatment of both the painting and frame for ‘Moses bringing down the Tables of the Law’ (c.1872-8) by John Rogers Herbert, making it available for display for the first in over seventy years. The six-week treatment of the painting was supervised by Sandi Mitchell, whilst Suzi Shaw has been overseeing the six-week frames treatment. They were assisted by 27 volunteers from the Melbourne conservation community and University of Melbourne conservation students for the project which was carried out in the public gallery space as a means of engaging the public with the processes of treating paintings and their frames. The paintings treatment took place on a large custom-built platform to accommodate the painting, which is over six metres in length. Gervais Battour constructed a special rolling gantry to enable conservators to carry out the cleaning and consolidation of the painting while it lay flat on the platform. The work is due for display in mid-July.
Raye Collins’ treatment of the painting and MaryJo Lelyveld’s reproduction frame for Frederick McCubbin’s ‘The North Wind’ (1891) are almost complete. The project, made possible by the support from Bank of America-Meryll Lynch, will be documented in an e-book and feature recent analytical work undertaken by Michael Varcoe-Cocks at the Australian Synchrotron. Also in the paintings studio Hugh Williamson Conservation Fellow Johanna Ellersdorfer is carrying out the treatment of Joshua Reynolds’ Lady Frances Finch, Carl Villis the treatment on Jacques-Louis David’s Head of a Man and John Payne, the treatment of Johann Zoffany’s Elizabeth Farren as Hermione in The Winter’s Tale. X-radiography of the painting undertaken by John as part of the examinations in the lead up to treatment uncovered series of earlier portraits of other subjects, including one with a possible royal connection.
Holly McGowan-Jackson is undertaking a 3 month long treatment project on the Josef Frank Armchair (c. 1930). The two chairs were donated to the gallery in 2014 along with the funding to support the treatment to one of these. Treatment is focused on removing multiple layers of brown and cream coloured lead-based overpaint to reveal the original orange finish. Sarah Brown has been working on hinging many large format colour photographs which have arrived as new acquisitions as well as a mounting project on a work recently acquired by the artist Patrick Pound, which involves individually cutting and mounting 186 found photographs to form one large display. Di Whittle has been managing the treatment and re-coating of a number of our outdoor sculptures on display in the NGV Garden moat as well as preparing several sculptures for display in the upcoming ‘Lenton Parr’ exhibition at NGV-A.
In the NGV paper Conservation studio Ruth Shervington and Louise Wilson are working on a database of Albrecht Durer’s watermarks. Over 20 years ago, their predecessors Lyndsay Knowles and Cobus van Breda undertook the immense task of taking beta radiographs of the NGV’s extraordinary collection of Durer engravings and woodcuts. The current project aims to bring together their data with new observations in the form of a database that is linked to the NGV’s Collection on-line. The database will be accessible on the NGV’s website from late August.
In June, the Conservation Department launched the Frames and Frame Makers Database. This on-line resource currently represents over one hundred and thirty frames, by Australian and International frame makers working in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Each entry describes frame construction and finish in detail, supported by art historical research and other frames references where possible. Entries also include a detailed colour image of frame ornament and moulding profile and are searchable by artist name, frame maker or artwork title. The database, made possible by the support of the Telematics Course Development Fund, is the culmination of decades of interest and research into frames by John Payne.