Uneven varnish under UV

Now that the painting has had its layer of surface dirt removed, the next step in the treatment is the removal of the varnish layer.  A lot of the principles that we talked about with surface cleaning, also apply to the removal of varnish layers.  Therefore, prior to beginning it’s importantRead more

In our last post we discussed the process of testing to identify the most appropriate cleaning solution to remove the surface dirt layer from the painting. After finding the best cleaning solution for the painting the surface cleaning can begin, but we always carefully monitor our progress to ensure thatRead more

Surface Cleaning

Now that we have cleaned the back of the canvas we can look at surface cleaning the front of the painting.  This is a separate procedure from the removal of varnish and overpaints and is completed first because surface dirt is the first layer encountered.  The reason we remove the dirt layerRead more

After completing our technical examination of the painting, taking lots of pre-treatment photographs and writing the condition report, we write a treatment proposal for the painting.  We consider the current condition of the painting and what we would like to achieve with different treatments.  Our proposal is discussed with theRead more

The back of the canvas

Poedua is an oil painting on stretched canvas, meaning the composition is painted on a fabric support which is stretched to keep it evenly tensioned, over an expandable wooden stretcher.  Canvas supports began to replace traditional wooden panel supports from about the 16th century and were the most commonly used typeRead more

Welcome to the first blog to keep you up-to-date with the conservation treatment of John Webber’s portrait of Poedua.  Katherine Campbell and I, the two paintings conservators here at Te Papa, will aim to post fortnightly on the progress of our work, offering you insight into what happens to aRead more

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inauguralRead more

Roger Rasmussen, 2009

Since 2009, Roger Rasmussen, alongside his role as a Te Papa host, has vounteered to re-house, measure and photograph a collection of to’i ma’a (stone adze) from Sāmoa which were gifted to the museum by Rhys Richards in 1991. Because of Roger’s important work, the images of the collection are nowRead more

This striking work Look Within 2 (2007) by Papua New Guinea artist Daniel Waswas is the latest addition to Te Papa’s collection of contemporary Pacific artworks. It depicts four images of the same person, conveying a message of self reflection and addressing the idea of identity from within one’s ownRead more

Paperskin – the art of tapa cloth is closing this weekend, on Sunday 12 September.  If you haven’t been to see these amazing tapa works, now is the time to come into Te Papa. It will also be your last chance for some time to see the 22 metre Tongan ngatu (tapa), made inRead more

Riki Gooch, musician and producer, in the Paperskin exhibition

Music and museum exhibitions haven’t always gone together – all part of the old idea that a museum should be a solemn and silent place. Today, sound compositions in exhibitions are being used as part of the visitor experience. They offer a different way to approach the things on display – oneRead more

In March 2009, Te Papa was gifted a small but significant collection of objects from Derek J. Wilson. This collection included two Tongan fangufangu or nose flutes that were made from bamboo. Historically, fangufangu were used to awaken the Tongan royalty from their sleep. The newly acquired fangufangu, have intactRead more