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Posts tagged with 'conservation'

Triumph of Fortitude

27 June 2013 by Angela

Triumph of Fortitude being rehung

Here’s an update from Tracey Seddon, Head of Organics Conservation:

“This is my first blog for a good while so I should introduce myself. I am Tracey Seddon, Head of Organics Conservation for National Museums Liverpool.  What does that mean, I hear you ask? Well, basically I look after the museums’ objects; specifically those made from organic materials like wood, basketry, fur, feathers, horn,  ivory and bone (I know! those latter two are only a tiny bit organic).  Other specialist colleagues deal with specific categories of material like paintings, furniture and sculpture. Read more…

By royal appointment

21 May 2013 by Angela

Bust of Grand Prince Ferdinando De’ Medici

Here’s our Head of Sculpture Conservation Lottie Barnden with news of an object going on a very special journey:

“Sculpture Conservation has recently taken delivery of a bust from the Lady Lever Art Gallery. It depicts Ferdinando De’ Medici by Giovachino Fortini, you can find out more about it on our collection pages.

The Uffizi Gallery in Florence is marking the 300th anniversary of the death of the Grand Prince Ferdinando De’ Medici and has requested the loan of our magnificent bust to be included in this exhibition. The Grand Prince was a great patron of the arts in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and this bust will be displayed among some of the works of art he collected. Read more…

Ship model conservation

27 March 2013 by Gemma

Discussing the conservation process

Often as a conservator, there are not many opportunities to engage with the public. Working in studios undertaking practical conservation work can leave little time for interaction with those who enjoy and visit the collections. So when I was given the opportunity to do a demonstration of ship model conservation at the Lady Lever Art Gallery I was eager to accept.

The Gallery is part of National Museums Liverpool, and houses a collection of fine and decorative art. The Lady Lever Art Gallery was founded by William Hesketh Lever, and contains the best of his personal art collection. As part of the education programme, the gallery runs demonstrations of various art related topics, and so I did an afternoon of ship model conservation in one of the galleries. Read more…

Conserving a Ship of War Model

15 February 2012 by Gemma

Ship model before and after treatment
Ship model before and after treatment

You may remember in my last post that I had taken a model in great need of conservation to the Lady Lever Art Gallery for demonstration purposes. The model had several snapped yards and masts, and missing blocks. Many people remarked on the blackness of the thick dirt, and how complicated the broken and twisted rigging was, and were interested to know how I would go about treating the model. As the treatment of the model has now been completed, I would like to share some of the treatment processes. Read more…

Volunteers Achieve Stewart Bale Success

20 December 2011 by volunteer

Group of volunteers cleaning negatives

Stewart Bale Volunteers: Hard at work helping to clean glass plate negatives.

Ann Stewart; Head of Framing, Paper and Paintings Conservation tells us a bit more about the wonderful work our Stewart Bale Volunteers have achieved this past year…

“Based in the paper conservation studio, a volunteer project to clean and re-house glass plate negatives from the Stewart Bale collection began in March this year.

Mainly due to the poor condition of the original packaging, most of these images haven’t been seen since the collection came to us. Read more…

Ready to set sail…

23 November 2011 by Gemma

Main sail before treatment and junk after conservation

Main sail before treatment and junk after conservation

The conservation of the Chinese junk from Swatow is now complete. Being such an interesting project, I will briefly share the treatment processes which have transformed a dirty, unstable model, back to its original beauty.

Firstly the hull and wooden components required cleaning. The model was vacuumed to remove any loose dirt on the deck and inside the bulkheads. After testing to find the safest, and most effective cleaning materials, the hull was cleaning using detergent in deionised water, which made a huge difference to the models appearance, as the shine of the wood oil can now be appreciated. The painted surfaces on the model were carefully cleaned using saliva, which is a surprisingly effective cleaning material. Read more…

The curious incident of the dog in the Billiard Room

6 October 2011 by Sam

skeleton of a dog with the head and one leg missing,laid out on a table

Here’s an interesting tale from senior organics conservator Tracey Seddon about one of the unusual objects that she has prepared for display in the Museum of Liverpool:


“If you live in Liverpool you will be familiar with the stunning Tudor mansion Speke Hall, south of the city next to Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The history of the families that lived there, from the Norrises who had it for nearly 400 years from the 1300s, to the Watts from 1795 to 1943, is well documented. But the Museum of Liverpool is soon to introduce a previously unknown member of the 1550s household – the pet dog. Read more…

Chinese Junk

5 October 2011 by Gemma

chinese junk ship model

Ship models have been made for centuries, representing changes in style and function of ships and boats, all around the world, making them such interesting objects! My current project in ship and historic model conservation illustrates this point well, as it is a model of a Chinese junk. A “junk” is a ship from China, and as you can see they are most unlike the European ships we are used to seeing. This project represents a challenge as the historical context of objects is an important consideration when conserving objects, and I had no knowledge about junks prior to starting the project. Read more…

Conserving Water Lily

7 September 2011 by Gemma

Ship model of fishing boat from Rye

My name is Gemma and I am a conservation intern at the National Museums Liverpool. I am here on a year long internship in Ship and Historic Model Conservation, funded by ICON (Institute of Conservation) and the Heritage Lottery Fund. As I am now nearly half way through my internship, I have had many interesting and exciting projects to work on which I would like to share, so I will put regular updates on the blog. Read more…

England expects

6 September 2011 by Sam

detail of a hand written message 'England expects that every man will do his duty'

Here’s a brain teaser for eagle-eyed people who know our collections well. Today I had the opportunity to see something that I’m very familiar with in unusual circumstances. Can you guess what it is from the detail above?

Here’s a clue – it fits in quite well with the theme of a certain big festival down on the waterfront that starts later this week. All will be revealed in a few days…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.