(2006) Funded Conservation: Silver Studio designs

In 2006 we received £1,967 from the MLA to help fund the re-housing of original Silver Studio designs for wallpaper, dating from the 1880s and 1890s.

We recruited a group of conservation student volunteers from Camberwell College of Arts.  They sorted through the collection, undertaking surface cleaning of items, placing designs in melinex sleeves where appropriate.  They also wrote brief condition reports on each item. Around 300 designs with friable media (chalks, charcoal, brittle paint surfaces) were separated from the collection during this process, so that an alternative storage method could be devised.

Ikuko Takeyama, Conservator

Ikuko Takeyama, Conservator

We recruited conservator Ikuko Takeyama to work alongside our Preventative Conservation Officer, Emma Shaw, on the designs that were unsuitable to be placed in melinex sleeves.  Instead, Emma and Ikuko developed a window-mounting system which was important to protect the delicate surface of the designs.

The newly mounted or sleeved designs were placed into appropriately-sized archival boxes, so that they can be retrieved for users safely and with ease. This project made more of the Silver Studio designs available to researchers and students, making it possible to see and handle them without damaging them.

The experience gained during this project also helped us to secure a much large grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council later in 2006.

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