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Back of House: Preserving the Well Preserved and the Unpreservable

Thursday 8 July 2021, 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Image credit: Rita Angus painting Self portrait, 1936-1937, by Jean Bertram. Te Papa (CA000242/001/0001)

Linda Waters, Paintings Conservator, will introduce you to the conservation focus that is possible when paintings are well preserved. To this end Linda will discuss Rita Angus’ paintings and examples of the research being undertaken in preparation for the major Rita Angus exhibition later this year. There will be a couple of paintings in the lab for viewing. Linda was the instigating author of the recent Te Papa Press publication The Back of the Painting, an exhibition which you can see on level 5 Toi Art, and which ends today.

Nirmala Balram, Objects Conservator works with a very wide range and number of 3D collection objects that include Sculpture, Maori and Pacific collections, NZ and International History and Natural Environment collections. The variation in materials and physical conditions finds her making decisions based on values and priorities as well as apply risk management methodology to collection objects.

One such iconic artwork is Black Phoenix by Ralph Hotere that took approximately 6 months to prepare for exhibition. The process became Preserving the Unpreservable. Questions arose such as how much physical and how much of the immaterial culture do we conserve? This meant considering the cultural implications of the artist’s intent. It also meant recognising the culture of visitors and collection services inclusive of the implications for cognition, emotions and motivation.

Book the 8:15pm tour

Back to Te Papa Friends Takeover page

Member $12. Members only. Numbers limited.


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Thursday 8 July 2021
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Te Papa. Meet at the Information Desk on Level 2
55 Cable Street
Wellington, 6011
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Friends of Te Papa
(04) 381 7051