Fine art conservation in the conservation unit of the National Library, Canberra

  • Anne Helena I'ons

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    WORK PROGRAMME FOR THE PAINTING INTERNSHIP 1982,UNDERTAKEN IN THE CONSERVATION UNIT OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY,CANBERRA The program included five major areas: 1. Treatment projects 2. Conservative management 3. Storage projects 4. General assistance with conservation projects 5. Visits to other institutions, meetings and conferences. 1. TREATMENT PROJECTS Four paintings in category 1,requiring urgent conservation treatment. The paintings are part of the National Library's Historical Collection, and reflect differing historical and aesthetic significance. Technically, the major conservation problems present in these four paintings represent conditions often found in aged, neglected and previously restored works of art. The diversity of treatment procedures required presented an ideal opportunity for study assessment and practical application of contemporary conservation methods. 2. CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT 18 miniatures on ivory, held as components of various collections within the National Library. A complete survey of the condition of all the miniatures was undertaken. Treatment proposals were compiled, proposed and completed. Detailed reports on all aspects of the conservation work undertaken on both the paintings and the miniatures is 1 presented with this dissertation. 3. STORAGE PROJECTS This work centred on the stabilisation of over twenty paintings, involving reframing techniques, the making of new stretchers, and correct storage within the Library compactors. Supervision of the display and hanging of exhibitions was also undertaken, along with packaging of material for external exhibitions. 4. GENERAL ASSISTANCE WITH CONSERVATION PROJECTS This work involved many aspects, from photography, object survey, consultation with visitors, general laboratory maintenance, ordering and I.C.C.M. Bulletin production. During the interim period between painting Conservator appointments, I was able to maintain the ongoing programme, treating several category 1 works. 5. VISITS TO OTHER INSTITUTIONS,MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES During the internship, I visited and later worked for, four months in the Fine Art Conservation Laboratory, of the Australian War Museum, where I have been appointed as Assistant Conservator. Visits to other institutions have included the National Gallery Conservation units, the National Archives in Mitchell, and the Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney. Meetings attended have included I.C.C.M. functions, the Museums of Australia Association meetings (I am a member of that organisation),and the October 1982 Museums Association 2 Conference held in the National Library, Canberra. I intend visiting Conservation Laboratories in South Africa during my coming visit in December 1982.
    Date of Award1982
    Original languageEnglish

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