Posts tagged with conservation

Mysteries of the Phantom wooden shield: Putting together the pieces

Black lines following holes in the painted wooden surface, suggesting the probable pattern of lashing from a historic decorative scheme. Image created by Cat Williams.

Conservator Catherine Williams is investigating one of Te Papa’s recent acquisitions – a painted wooden shield from Papua New Guinea featuring The Phantom – from a conservation perspective, and blogging about it along the way. If you missed her first post, read it here. Uncovering the mysteries of a collection item such as the Phantom… Read more »

Conserving plastics: why you should keep your Barbie in the fridge

Two 70s Barbies wearing 70s outfits. Their faces are a much more yellowy/green colour than their bodies

Many people believe that plastic items are indestructible and will last forever. But what if you learnt this wasn’t the case? Conservator, Nirmala Balram, gives us an insight into the science of plastic deterioration and how you should look after your prized plastic possessions. So much plastic The world of plastics is huge. Plastics are… Read more »

The treasures of Broadgreen Historic House

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Conservator Anne Peranteau visited Broadgreen, an historic house in the Stoke neighborhood, to give some advice on the display and storage of collection items. Anne tells us about some of her favourite items in the Broadgreen collections.  Last month I filled my suitcase with my tricks of the trade and headed to Nelson. I brought an assortment of… Read more »

Pukerua Bay School Museum visit the Conservation Lab

Pukerua Bay School Museum with Te Papa team, Photograph by Amanda Rodgers, Te Papa

Aurelia, Paddy and Isaac visited Te Papa’s conservation team to find out all about picture framing and paper and painting conservation. Our friends from Pukerua Bay School Museum have recently created their own YouTube channel to help them reach out to their audiences. One of our favourite videos, so far, has involved the children explaining the process of restoring… Read more »

Conservator Linda Waters, and her colleague Tijana Cvetkovic, have been helping Bronwyn Holloway-Smith of the Mural Search and Recovery Project investigate whether a 1960s mural by Mervyn E Taylor called  ‘First Kumara Planting’ ’ is still intact, hidden under white paint in the old Soil Bureau building in Taita. The story so far In my previous… 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 »

Conserving and dressing 18th c. Splendour

  • The Ladies Waldegrave, Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1780. National Gallery of Scotland NG 2171. Oil on canvas.
  • Here we are carrying out the final fitting of both the dress to unsure that the garment is properly supported but not under any stress. At this point we can also adjust the final height of the ensemble and check the silhouette that has been created. Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.
  • The near-finished mount, complete with silk petticoat, jersey top cover and sleeve supports. There are strong small magnets attached to the front which will hold the bodice section in position- These are needed as the dress doesn’t have any buttons or other fastening. The opposing magnets will be placed on the outside of the garment. These should be difficult to see as they will be coloured to match the dress.
  • The torso after it has been padded into the correct size and period shape. There is a cotton tube underskirt to hold out the multiple layers of net underskirts instead of legs! Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.

A co-authored post by Anne Peranteau, Textile Conservator and Sam Gatley, Costume Mountmaker Historic dress, historic problems In 1951, Te Papa was given three 18th century dresses, all dating to approximately 1780.   Our work in the textile lab is currently focused on preparing two of these gowns for display in the Splendour module of Nga… Read more »

Goodbye to the lettuce liverwort – it’s going extinct

A cluster of Petalophyllum preissii plants, with my finger for scale. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

A highlight of my recent South Island fieldwork was helping to survey the last remaining New Zealand population of the liverwort Petalophyllum preissii.  It’s a distinctive looking plant, a bit like a little lettuce, and about the size of a fingernail. Seeing it was special because I likely won’t have the opportunity again.  You’ll probably never… Read more »

World Science Day: improving our knowledge using collections

Botany Collection Store: Te Papa has 300 000 botany specimens. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2015.

Today is World Science Day for Peace and Development, but science is happening at Te Papa every day . In addition to research being conducted within Te Papa, each year we also loan hundreds of science collection specimens to researchers all around the world. Researchers study our specimens to improve our collective knowledge of the natural world…. Read more »

Native re-vegetation & weed collecting in Wellington’s greenbelt

Tim Park, Wellington City Council Biodiversity Officer. Standing next to some well established wharangi (Melicope ternata) plantings on Mount Victoria. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.

I recently tagged along with Wellington City Council’s Environment Partnership Leader, Tim Park to visit some native re-vegetation sites in Wellington’s town belt. Why is Wellington City planting native plants? Wellington City Council has a policy of replacing pine forest with native plantings in the town belt as pine trees die or are toppled by… Read more »