Tag: conservation

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The current setup for a long duration time lapse. Its hoped that we might gain some insight into the decay rate by recording the progress over the next 6 months or so.

Mini Post No. 7 – Using a Raspberry Pi to watch a handbag decay

So a while back I posted an image of one of the plastic handbags we have here in the Conservation Science Dept. We use these non-museum objects as sacrificial lambs in the aid of heritage science. We have a second handbag that has started to dramatically decay. As we will use any excuse here in the […]

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Mini Post No. 6 – How safe are your photographs?

So I have been researching about Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) over the past while and I came across this lovely example in the lab of the major danger associated with PVC. Many of us have our family photos kept in ‘plastic’ photo albums – most of these are going to be made from PVC. The biggest […]

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Curators and technicians discussing the structure of the fountain © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

‘In the middle of the Table was [a] Fountain … ‘

Over the past three days, visitors to the Museum have had the opportunity to have a sneak preview of one of Museum’s great hidden treasures which will be going into the new Europe Galleries. Technicians, conservators and ceramics curators have been working in the Raphael Court, assembling the many parts of our impressive Meissen ceramic table […]

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Analysing Chinese Export Paintings

The V&A’s Conservation Science department has been working on a collection of Chinese export paintings, looking closely at the materials that the artists used and trying to uncover the secrets of an important part of the history of Britain in China. Sonia Bellesia, former intern in the Conservation Science section explains more… Originally sold as souvenirs to Western merchants […]

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Mini Post No. 5 – Storing the samples we analyse

We collect a lot of samples during the year and these days we store them in little plastic resealable bags or if they are really small we put them in clear gelatin capsules… But back in the days before plastic (and in an era where more people smoked!) we used matchstick boxes.  

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Cleaning the Bohemian quilt © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

A Big Clean – cleaning textile hangings at De Wit, Belgium

This fortnight, we have an entry written for us by guest blogger Katy, one of the Textile Conservators who has been working on objects to be displayed in the new galleries.   The new Europe galleries will showcase some brilliant and beautiful examples of large textile hangings, including tapestry, needlepoint and wool appliqué. Early on in […]

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Kaleidoscope House – A dolls house for the ‘child’ interested in modernist architecture

One of the nicer elements of my job is the exposure to the wonderfully diverse collection that we have here at the V&A. Later in the year the Museum of Childhood is putting together a wonderful exhibition on Dolls houses. We (my supervisor and I) were asked to consult on one of the more unusual […]

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Mini Post No. 4 – How we prepare samples

The nice people over that the Getty Conservation Institute have just released their new newsletter for Spring 2014. It deals with all things plastic and has a great article on the research they carried out on animation cels from old Disney films. You can find a pdf of the newsletter here. In other news… The science conservation department […]

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Unpacking Disobedient Objects

Before the ‘Disobedient Objects’ team kicks off this week, we would like to share some behind the scenes photographs that will keep us smiling till Friday.  This post is dedicated to the shipment from our lenders in America, whose disobedient objects are slowly arriving into the V&A, as we get ready for the exhibition’s instillation. […]

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Mini Post No.3 – Sometimes we even get to have fun at work…

We had to cool the FTIR machine down to do some analysis… I’ve used liquid nitrogen before, but this never gets old!! In a later post ill speak a little on why we use FTIR so much and how we integrate it into our workflow, but for now, enjoy the video.

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