Archival & Conservation

Museums and Heritage Show 2014

museum 2014

It was great to be in attendance at the Museums and Heritage show the other week to get a taste of the developments being made within the sector. Alongside visiting the exhibition stands, I listened in on some great free talks:

A world of opportunities from ACE and AIM
My first stop at the Museum and Heritage Show was to find out about the funding opportunities for 2015 – 2018. I personally think it’s great to know what funding is going to be made available, as funding into the heritage sector means that we will all get to benefit from those who are awarded the grants. I’m excited to think about the collections and venues that will be made accessible to us through these types of schemes.

I was particularly glad to hear that the Association of Independent Museums, with the support of The Pilgrim Trust, will be running The AIM Preventative Conservation Grant Scheme until 2016.

New Galleries for new audiences at the Imperial War Museum
As an archivist I was keen to hear the stories about interpreting the challenging material in preparation for the First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum. I was particularly interested in hearing about how they would curate an exhibition which deals with very tragic events, and to make it suitable for family viewing, whilst maintaining the integrity of the happenings. It made me think about how it really is so important to preserve and provide access to the full story and not just the story we are comfortable with.

I personally cannot wait until the galleries open in July. It will be amazing to have the opportunity to learn so much more about such an important chapter of our history and to view the artefacts from that time.

Responding to Crisis: Recovering Rothko
The Responding to Crisis: Recovering Rothko was a brilliant way to round up my day at the show; it was great to hear Patricia Smithen, Head of Conservation at Tate, talk about the incredible conservation work that was done on the Rothko Maroon on Black Painting.

The talk highlighted the main challenges of the complex project. I personally found it fascinating to hear about the extensive research they did in order to analyse the material that was used to produce the original painting and also the material that was used to deface it: it really is amazing what skills we possess in this sector.

It was also interesting to hear about the use of Mylar/Melinex within the project, especially at the testing stage; where they used the film as templates to draw over the top of the sample testing. It was also fun to spot the different ways in which they used Mylar/Melinex in their studio when watching the footage filmed by Tate!