For those not familiar with the Willard LinkedIn page, we regularly post links to our favourite conservation case studies we think our peers and customers will enjoy reading. Here we present a top 10 of our favourite case studies from 2014 which range from Victorian illustrations to ancient bronze work!
1. The Nathaniel Wallich conservation project at Kew Gardens. In the age of digital preservation, Kew Gardens had embarked on a project to digitise all 150 drawings by Victorian botanical illustrator Nathaniel Wallich, among many others. However, it was then discovered that more of Wallich’s drawings existed which were wrongly attributed to other collections. These newly discovered illustrations were then surveyed and identified as in need for conservation due to a variety of reasons, from the fermentation of the sugar paper, tear repairs and even copper green deterioration. View the complete case study here.
2. Restoring the Mastery of Ancient bronzeworks This is a fascinating video documenting the restoration of an ancient bronze lamp recently discovered in a rock-cut pit in the Republic of Georgia. Watch conservators study and clean the Lamp here.
3. Making an Islamic Book binding The students at West Dean College in Chichester, UK often publish great blogs about their studies and we have to say, this is one of our favourites, giving a step by step guide on making an Islamic book binding. Watch the fascinating step process here.
4. Conserving a 6500 year-old skeleton It’s not often that a non-Egyptian, non-mummified skeleton makes its way into the Artifact lab at the Penn Museum but this one did. The comments on this blog also provide some fascinating reading: Read more here.
5. How Curators and Conservators Look at a Tapestry The Met presented a small installation giving visitors the rare opportunity to get a behind the scenes glimpse of the museum conservators at work investigating six late Renaissance tapestry cushion covers, all documented on the blog. Learn more here.
6. Conservation of a Vionnet Dress: Treatment begins… It’s not often that we see the process of textile conservation so this blog post on the analysis of a Vionnet dress at the V&A’s conservation studio was a great find. View the blog post here.
7. From Grey to ‘White’ – Wet Cleaning Henrietta Woodcock’s Wedding Dress We loved reading about the complex process of cleaning a vintage wedding dress for the popular “Wedding Dresses 1775-2014” exhibition still currently on show at the V&A. Read the full post here.
8. Conserving the pottery, terracotta and tablets from Ur An interesting blog by the conservation team at the British Museum, documenting their time assessing and conserving each piece from a collection of over 1000. Read the full blog post here.
9. Conservation of a Jane Austen manuscript fragment Another wonderful post from the students at West Dean recording the process of stabilising the handwritten manuscript which was made possible by a generous donation to ensure the care of collections. Learn about the chemical process here.
10. Introducing the recolouring taxidermy research project Here is one of the only conservation posts on taxidermy we have come across which makes for a great read and ever relevant as many taxidermy mounts become discoloured and fad after years of display under bright, hot lights.