The Science of Art: object-focused research in our museums

Can you hear when a pigment has been ground to the right particle size? How do we know which plastics in a museum are going to self-destruct? Why is conservation documentation like a pile of dirty laundry? Can you make a priceless book full of moving paper parts and almost 500 years old accessible to all? Did the Pacific island… Read full article

Chalk and skis: conserving Scott and Shackleton’s cartoon penguins

Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton are often compared, but not many people ever ask “Which of them was better at drawing cartoon penguins?”. Even so, at the Polar Museum we can answer this question, because we have a collection of blackboards with chalk drawings by famous Arctic and Antarctic explorers, including these two great men. Both Scott and Shackleton… Read full article

License to wreak havoc

This is the scene of a disaster in the Fitzwilliam Museum lunchroom. A team of conservators are carefully salvaging items from the wet and filthy wreckage of artefacts all over the floor, with only head torches to see by: Only a few hours earlier, conservators Helena Rodwell, Samantha Archetti and Sophie Rowe had gleefully made a horrible mess in the… Read full article