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The Best Conservation Projects of 2020 So Far

It’s that time again where we look at the most popular conservation projects we’ve shared on our LinkedIN page, and there are a lot of them! We’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 and range from topical newspapers, an exploration of modern materials to treating a singing bird automation - it certainly is a mixed bunch.

Conservation Treatment of Early Canadian Abolitionist Newspapers (pictured main)

Although the treatment took place last year, we found this project to be of topical interest with special significance to the field of Canadian Black History. Book and Paper Conservation Services partnered with Western University to help preserve these important documents of Canadian history.

Take a look at the conservation of two important Abolitionist newspapers from Western’s collections here.

Plastic Makes Perfect: Exploring a Modern Material

Techniques to conserve and preserve paper, wood, paint and textiles are well known however the relatively modern world of plastics is one the industry is yet to fully master. But as so many items of modern day significance are made from a variety of plastics, the need to understand exactly how best to preserve plastics of all kinds is of increasing importance. The Getty Conservation Institute’s has introduced a Preservation of Plastics initiative, take a look at the research here.

Microscopically reweaving a 1907 painting at the MOMA

We love the close-up insight into the painstaking conservation treatment through this fantastic video from the MOMA. Take a look as conservator Diana Hartman tackles the question of how to repair holes in the painting’s canvas to ready Paula Modersohn-Becker's "Self Portrait" (1907) for MoMA's reopening in October; Hartman says, “we’ve given a breath of fresh air to this painting.”

Watch the video here.

Conservation of a singing bird cage automaton

Not only was the movement very dirty and covered in old oil and corrosion, all of the feathers had to be completely removed and conserved! This singing bird cage automaton is part of the Edward James Foundation collection. It belonged to William James and was one of Edward’s favourite toys as a child. Take a look at this challenging student project here.

Conservation treatment of late 19th and early 20th century silk theatre playbills from the Western Heritage Collections.

Playbills like these were printed for special performances, such as the benefit, gala and state performances promoted here. Since they were intended to be sold at the theatre as souvenirs, they were not printed on the rough, cheaper paper generally used for this type of promotional material, but on a fine silk fabric that gave a soft textured sheen and were often also embellished with a delicate fringe, making them all the more desirable as mementos of the performance. Take a look at the treatment process here.

Do you have a project you would like to share? Have you used Willard tools and equipment? We love seeing our products in action - email your project to us or tag us on social and we’ll feature it on our blog!

Follow our LinkedIN page where we regularly share the best conservation projects!


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