Conservation in focus

Asahi Shimbun displays

11 September – 26 October 2008
Room 3                   
Admission free

Stone: 11 September – 25 September
Organics: 26 September – 12 October
Metals and ceramics: 13 October – 26 October

The work of conservators is integral to museum practice – it enables objects to go on public display and preserves our cultural heritage for future generations. The display showcases this often hidden side of Museum work and allows the public to engage directly with the curators and conservators. The display will consist of a team of conservators working on three categories of objects for the duration of the show: Stone (figure of Bacchus; marble votive relief; marble torso); Organics (bark cloth tunic; bark masks); Metal/Ceramics (Chiseldon Cauldron; Chertsey medieval ceramic tile).

This distinctive display provides a unique opportunity for the public to engage with conservators to discuss their work, ask questions and watch conservation procedures taking place. Visitors will also be able to engage with supplementary material including fully conserved objects, conservation tools and material samples and digital screens telling the stories of other conservation projects.

Museum conservators do not work in isolation. They collaborate and make decisions with many people across various disciplines to reveal new information about objects.

Jody Joy, Curator of the Iron Age collections:
'Through careful excavation Alex will be able to re-construct how the cauldrons looked. This is fascinating as we don’t know what cauldrons from this period looked like. Her research will also help explain what the cauldrons were used for and why so many were deposited in a pit in Wiltshire. These are the questions that really interest me.'

As part of the display, there will be gallery talks taking place in Room 3 between conservators and curators:

Thursday 18 September, 13.15
Greek and Roman Sculpture
Amy Drago and Peter Higgs

Thursday 2 October, 13.15 
Pacific Barkcloth
Sherry Doyal and Lissant Bolton

Thursday 16 October, 13.15
Medieval tiles
Rachel Swift and Beverley Nenk

Thursday 23 October, 13.15
Iron-Age cauldrons
Alex Baldwin and Jody Joy

For further information or images please contact Katrina Whenham on 020 7323 8583, kwhenham@britishmuseum.org