Posts categorized as Art

The Conservation of Poedua – Part 12

Lower member centre-right during swab cleaning. Photograph by Matthew O'Reilly. © Te Papa.

Hello. Matthew O’Reilly, Framer of Paintings, returning to the subject of Poedua, and particularly, her lovely frame. This is my second post about the conservation of the frame. The first one was in June, and it dealt with understanding the frame and its history well enough, and identifying the questions to be answered, before and so that, appropriate… Read more »

Unveiled: royalty, romance and politics

Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Queen Victoria, 1843, oil on canvas. (c) Collection of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

In conjunction with Unveiled: 200 years of Wedding Fashion from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Te Papa is delighted to present a series of lectures that explores aspects of the social worlds covered by this glamorous exhibition.   The lecture by Eugene Barilo von Reisberg on Saturday 10 December  (10.30am), hosted by the Friends of Te Papa, focuses on Queen… Read more »

The Conservation of Poedua – Part 11

  • Poedua flower after cleaning
  • Poedua flower after cleaning
  • detail of flower before cleaning
  • detail of flower before cleaning

The varnish removal of Poedua is progressing slowly and painstakingly and we are now almost halfway through this important part of the treatment.  As we have mentioned before, removal of discoloured varnish can have a dramatic effect on the overall balance, colour and depth of a painting.  Because discoloured varnishes like Poedua’s are usually a… Read more »

The Conservation of Poedua – Part 10

  • label 8
  • The topmost label once the paper remnants had been removed revealing 36.  Photograph taken by Melanie Carlisle, 2011.  © Te Papa
  • During the removal process. This image shows the paper label coated with a layer of methyl cellulose.  The Mylar on top ensures the methyl cellulose does not 'dry-up'.  Photograph taken by Melanie Carlisle, 2011. © Te Papa
  • The painting on the easel in the Paintings Conservation lab.  You can see some areas where the varnish has been removed; the sky to the right of Poedua's arm and square patches in the tapa cloth.  Photograph taken by Melanie Carlisle, 2011.  © Te Papa

Hello everyone, we are back with our fortnightly updates on the treatment of John Webber’s Poedua. We are progressing slowing with the cleaning of the painting.  At this stage, the cleaning involves the varnish removal and the removal of overpaints (later additions by a previous restorer). Today’s blog post will focus on one stage of… Read more »

Len Castle, 1924-2011

With the recent death of Len Castle, New Zealand has lost one of its greatest potters who developed a long and innovative approach to clay that can be bound up in the search for national identity. Castle began working with clay from 1947 experimenting with commercial clays and Westmere beach sand. He was a natural,… Read more »

The Conservation of Poedua – part 9

Hello Poedua followers!  Mel and I have taken a break from our treatment of Poedua for a while in order to focus on some other paintings conservation commitments. In the past two months we have been kept busy working on a loan of 23 paintings for the exhibition Painting New Zealand which is currently on display at Tauranga… Read more »

The Conservation of Poedua – Part 8

  • Image of Poedua in its frame immediately after it arrived at Te Papa. Photograph taken by Michael Hall. © Te Papa.
  • Upper left corner detail at the back showing cut-down mitre with remnant of original key plus later key across mitre. Photograph taken by Matthew O'Reilly. © Te Papa.
  • Upper right corner detail at the back showing uncut mitre with original cross key in position; compare with upper left corner image. Photograph taken by Matthew O'Reilly. © Te Papa.
  • Upper left corner detail showing the cut-down mitre with associated loss of motif along the mitre

If you have been following Mel and Katherine’s Poedua treatment blogs you may be surprised to read another’s voice on this one – a voice from the edge as it were. I’m Matthew O’Reilly, Framer of Paintings here at Te Papa. My previous blogs were quite some time ago now. Katherine and Mel have needed to… Read more »

Brian Brake News

  • Te Papa website
  • Te Papa website
  • Te Papa website
  • Te Papa website

Crowd-pulling Exhibition The exhibition Brian Brake: Lens on the World is now touring New Zealand and recently opened at Auckland Art Gallery, where it drew large crowds on its first weekend. This followed phenomenal attendances at its inaugural showing at Te Papa. An estimated 191,000 people visited the exhibition over its six and a half… Read more »

The Conservation of Poedua – Part 7

  • The same area after the varnish has been removed.  Photograph taken by Katherine Campbell, 2011.  © Te Papa
  • Melanie cleaning a small test area in the drapery.  Photograph taken by Katherine Campbell, 2011. © Te Papa
  • More varnish removal test areas.  The white hazy areas on some spots are caused by varnish residues remaining on the surface.  This occurs when the solution does not work effectively at removing the entire varnish layer.  Photograph taken by Melanie Carlisle, 2011. © Te Papa.
  • varnish testing 007

In the paintings conservation lab, we have been working away steadily on the varnish removal of Poedua.  Every now-and-then we come across a painting where this stage of the treatment is relatively easy, where a simple organic solvent solution is effective in removing the varnish without any effect to any part of the underlying paint… Read more »