Tag: Paper conservation

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New Peepshow Discoveries Come to Light

A Guest Post from Marie-Alix de Cools in Book Conservation The V&A recently received a wonderful collection of nearly 400 paper peepshows and other optical devices, a collection which had been assembled over a period of 30 years by Jacqueline and Jonathan Gestetner (see recent blog post on this topic).           During my internship in […]

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Careful Art: Surgery and Conservation

As an artist who grew up in a scientific household, I recognise the power and possibilities of interdisciplinary working.  I believe that connecting ideas from art, science and humanities is important, because innovation and ideas grow from these intersections. There are many reasons why I joined VARI.  Bringing different kinds of people and knowledge together, to work on […]

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V&A RCA History of Design Students and the Leman Album

V&A RCA History of Design Corse students take a closer look at the Leman Album

A group of V&A RCA History of Design Students came to visit the Paper Conservation Studio today, to learn more about the designs and also the conservation work behind VARI Leman Album Project. I had my trusty camera on hand to capture the action… All photographs by Eileen Budd, VARI Project Manager.

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The Complex World of Small Things: Part One

 Musings on the materials and techniques of portrait miniatures Contrary to popular belief, small does not equal easy: not in the world of the conservation of portrait miniatures, nor anywhere else, I imagine. The V&A, where I am a senior paper conservator, is the home to the National Collection of portrait miniatures, numbering over 2000, […]

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The curious case of the Tibetan skull drum

Detail showing an area of missing decoration © Johanna Puisto Victoria and Albert Museum, London

I was recently asked to work on a very unusual object, which was a 19th century Tibetan drum, made of human skulls. The drum was about to travel to the Wellcome Collection’s exhibition titled; ‘Tibet’s Secret Temple; Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism’. It was highly exciting to work on this loan as His […]

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An iridescent flash of green

IM.89-1930. Green jewels catching the light (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Here in Paper Conservation one of my tasks is mounting some objects from the South and South-East Asia Collections. While preparing to mount some of these items I noticed some unusually bright green jewels in three paintings. Since I had to check these works under the microscope anyway to make sure the paint was stable, […]

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Still painting like Constable

Humbled by my last feeble attempts at painting like Constable (here), I began work on a substantially scaled down version of Constable’s Full scale study for the Haywain. I prepared a small canvas by stretching commercially primed canvas – linen, with a white ground, that you can buy by the metre. I stretched it around […]

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Painting like Constable

Having prepared some Constable style paper boards with Sophie Connor a little while back (read about it here), I faced the daunting prospect of trying to paint like Constable. To try to make this a bit easier I based my sketch on a painting by Constable that I had recently examined, Buildings on Rising Ground near […]

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Painting by Numbers?: An 18th Century Flower Show

As the Chelsea Flower Show draws to a conclusion tomorrow, and the masses return to their own gardens inspired, it’s worth looking back to the 18th century, to the golden age of botanical exploration and to an artist who was arguably the finest botanical painter in history – Ferdinand Bauer –  and how expertise at […]

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Making a ‘Constable’

Applying the red-brown oil ground. You can already see how the paper is absorbing the oil where there is no sizing.

  This week I’ve been working with Clare, the Senior Paintings Conservator, to make some Constable-style pasteboards (sheets of paper glued together) for a display to go in the Paintings gallery. After several weeks of reading up on it (for example in the essays referenced here), looking at examples of Constable’s works on paper, and […]

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