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Stories from Conservation

Hear fascinating short talks on the incredible work conservators are undertaking, often ‘behind the scenes’ to protect and preserve Victoria’s heritage. This event is presented by the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM), and is generously supported by Museums Victoria.


Extra-terrestrial conservation: Conserving Victoria’s state meteorite collection

Danielle Measday is the Conservator of Natural Sciences at Museums Victoria (MV), and Producer of the science storytelling event, Laborastory. She will discuss a preventive conservation project recently conducted with MV’s meteorite collection, to place all Iron and Stony- Iron Meteorites into specialised oxygen free storage. This aims to arrest chemical deterioration of the meteorites and preserve their significant scientific value as a unique source of information about the formation and history of our solar system.

Conservation of a mosaic seat by Mirka Mora: a multifaceted and ongoing story

Dr Sabine Cotte is a French-Australian private conservator, based in Melbourne. She will reveal the conservation work and ongoing maintenance of a large mosaic seat, located on the St Kilda Pier and representing an illustrated map of the area, made in 1993 by Mirka Mora. Exposed to the elements, and having been previously damaged, conservation of the seat required a multifaceted approach. Sabine worked with the artist, other experts, and the City of Port Phillip to undertake conservation treatment, and to develop preventive conservation measures and an ongoing maintenance plan.

Archaeological conservation: The Mackenzie Street dig and Mistletoe Hotel

Penny Byrne is a freelance objects conservator with over twenty years’ experience conserving the cultural heritage of Victoria. She has worked for many of Victoria’s major cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria, Museum Victoria, and Heritage Victoria. She will share her experience working as lead conservator on the Mistletoe Hotel archaeological dig in 2016, where tens of thousands of artefacts were uncovered ranging from ceramic plates and cups, bottles and other glass, oyster shells, animal bones, leather shoes, coins, beads, and even a gold nugget stickpin!

Recreating 1840’s upholstery: Conservation of a Colonial era sofa

Suzi Shaw is a Conservator of Frames & Furniture at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), where she cares for works ranging from Renaissance cassone to 3-D printed bioplastic chairs. She will describe the conservation work undertaken on a Colonial-era sofa, including the investigation and examination techniques, details of the restoration plan, specialist consultation and 1840s-appropriate upholstery. The sofa was returned to a condition as close as possible to its maker’s original concept, and is currently on display in the NGV’s Colony exhibition.

Conservation on the road: The War Heritage Roadshow

Caroline Fry is a Paintings Conservator at The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, and occasional sessional lecturer at the University of Melbourne. She will discuss ‘The War Heritage Roadshow’, an outcome of an initiative between The Victorian State Government, and the University of Melbourne’s Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation with assistance from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Museum. The Roadshow combines public lectures, activities, demonstrations and one-to-one consultations with conservators and military historians. It has visited more than 15 venues across Victoria, seeing approximately 6,000 artefacts, and reaching more than 1,500 people.


Master of Ceremonies, Elizabeth McCartney, is the Senior Conservator of the Collection Access and Development team within the Conservation Department at Museums Victoria, and President of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials’ Victorian Branch.


Concludes 7:30pm


Melbourne Museum Lecture Theatre
11 Nicholson St , Carlton , VIC 3053

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