Posts categorized as Conservation

Ten splendid objects

Colourful dish

Curator decorative art and design Justine Olsen chooses her top ten objects exhibited in European Splendour: 1500–1800. The objects below are mainly decorative and through them we see changes in style, materials, and techniques. They offer a valuable insights into a bygone age and highlight the impact of religion, trade, culture, and the way European society viewed itself…. Read more »

Picking a pocket…or two

Intern Keira Miller in the lab, preparing materials for dyeing. Photo by A. Peranteau, copyright Te Papa.

Have you ever thought about the history of the humble pocket?  This past winter, Keira Miller, an intern from the University of Glasgow’s Center for Textile Conservation, helped us with the treatment of some detachable 18th century pockets for the exhibition European Splendour 1500-1800.   Keira writes about the importance of pockets in 18th century fashion and the… Read more »

Can you see through paint? Examining a hidden wall mural using infrared reflectography

soil-bureau-mural

Linda Waters, Conservator Paintings, shares a technique used in her work to look through layers of paint and uncover a painting that would otherwise remain invisible. Recently we had an opportunity to try to see through paint in the foyer of a building in Taita to find a mural underneath. Bronwyn Holloway Smith from Massey University… Read more »

Catwalk couture in detail

  • The sheer Versace day dress at far right (GH013642), on display in April 2001 alongside three other Versace dresses in Te Papa's collection.
  • Day dress, 1997, Milan, by Gianni Versace. Gift of Gianni Versace S.p.A., Italy, 2001. Te Papa (GH013642)
  • Detail of GH013642, showing sheer and opaque areas of burnout fabric. Photo by A. Peranteau, copyright Te Papa.
  • 2001 cartoon commentary on Te Papa's Versace exhibition.

Catwalk glamour This week I’ve been working on couture garments that are destined for display at Expressions in Upper Hutt. The Catwalk to Cover exhibition will include fashions from Te Papa’s collection by international and New Zealand designers alongside photographs that capture the dynamism, creativity and glamour that epitomize the runway fashion show experience. The… Read more »

Prepping a 1905 replica All Blacks jersey for the road

Rugby jersey [1905 replica], 2011, New Zealand, by Robertina Downes, Deborah Cumming, Manawatu Knitting Mills Ltd, New Zealand Rugby Museum. Commissioned 2011. Te Papa (GH017325). After padding out for display.

Recently I blogged about preparing an 18th century gown (now on display in European Splendour).  A few weeks ago, the same skills were applied to a very different type of garment—the replica All Blacks “Originals” 1905 jersey. The jersey will be on display in Hamilton until January 8th in the Waikato Museum exhibition Fernz: an exploration of… Read more »

The power of lace – making European Splendour 1500-1800, Te Papa

Maker unknown, lace collar, linen, Europe. Gift of Mrs M W Aitken, 1970. Te Papa (PC001724). © photographer Justine Olsen.

Lace is fascinating for its changing and divisive role in history. Desired for its beauty and admired for its technical expertise, the best quality was restricted in use for monarchs and nobility.  While sumptuary laws during the 1500 and early 1600s claimed to protect local industries, lace actually helped identify social rank of the individual…. Read more »

It’s a Bug’s Life – Impact of the project for Imagine Childcare

Making bird feeders, Photograph by Imagine Childcare, © Imagine Childcare

The ‘It’s a Bug’s Life’ education resource is on its way – but what has been the impact of this project so far? In this post, we hear from Imagine Childcare – one of our three ECE partnership groups. They are using the expertise they gained through our research to inform their Department of Conservation (DOC) ‘Habitat Heroes’ project… Read more »

How to deal with human DNA contamination of your DNA sequencing: an example from a Malawian dance garment.

Dance garment, c. 1900, Malawi (Chewa culture), Photograph by Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa MA_I.374711

You’ve probably seen forensic scientists on TV taking swabs and fingerprints from crime scenes. They aren’t wearing labcoats, hairnets and gloves to look cool but to prevent them contaminating their forensic evidence with their own DNA. But how do scientists deal with items that are already contaminated with unwanted human DNA? I recently encountered this… Read more »