Please take a seat in the waiting area as we have a little chat about the all-important topic of portfolios as part of recruiting conservators: what makes a good one, what format should it be, and what do we put in ours? We’re joined by guest host Julia Jabłońska, an emerging paintings conservator, as we try to figure out what people want. Also tune in for an interview with Tamsin Russell from the Museums Association about interview confidence, a Dear Jane about PhD studies, and a special guest review from William Tregaskes of ’Always Time for Coffee’ by Kate Minchin.
00:00:39 News in brief
00:08:23 So what are conservation portfolios?
00:12:13 Academic work vs employment portfolio
00:16:42 Inspiration and anxiety
00:19:42 Do you put ’personality’ into yours?
00:36:31 Going digital
00:40:37 Twitter responses
00:52:55 Review of EPN portfolio workshop
00:55:38 Interview with Tamsin Russell, professional development officer
01:07:34 Review: ‘Always Time for Coffee’
01:12:20 Dear Jane
01:18:41 Patreon shout out
01:19:47 Comments, questions, and corrections
Join us as we explore the topic of working with communities of all sorts: from source communities to new audiences. How can conservators work with community groups? How can museums be more welcoming to diverse audiences? Can we take collaboration outside of the museum walls? We talk to Rachel Hand and Ali Clark about their work at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and to Francis Lukezic about the Nunalleq Project. Also tune in for a Dear Jane about archaeological exhibitions and a Parisian book review!
00:00:37 Our experiences of working with communities
00:07:31 What do we mean by community anyway?
00:14:18 Interview with Rachel Hand and Ali Clark
00:41:53 Relinquishing control and growing collaboration
00:48:02 What is value? What are we conserving?
00:49:25 Interview with Francis Lukezic
01:05:29 Active collecting from groups
01:08:31 Review: ‘The Littler Museums of Paris’
01:12:12 Dear Jane
01:18:15 Patreon shout-out
We’re joined by guest host Sarah Potter as we have a chat about working with contemporary art. Jenny interviews Julia Nagle about the joy of colour and solvent free studios, and Kloe talks to Ann French about problem solving and how to share your knowledge. Also tune in for a special training review by Anthi Soulioti (including an interview with Vivian van Saaze), and a review of the West Dean plastics course by Kloe.
00:00:37 What is contemporary art?
00:05:51 Our experiences
00:15:33 Unusual materials and artist involvement
00:21:22 Do we need conservators for this?
00:25:01 Challenges of display
00:31:23 Interview with Julia Nagle
00:48:59 Choice of art materials
00:52:07 Resources and training
00:53:36 Interview with Ann French
01:03:24 Review of recent contemporary art conservation events by Anthi Soulioti
01:07:46 Interview with Vivian van Saaze
01:16:14 Review of West Dean’s plastics course
Buckle up as we go on a ride exploring the topic of couriering and the art of escorting an object on loan: from low-glam trips to prestigious treks across the globe! What’s involved? Who gets to go? What if something goes wrong? Kloe documents her first courier trip to Brussels and Christina shares her various conservation adventures. Also tune in for a Dear Jane that unexpectedly turns into Dear Fletcher!
00:00:22 Announcement: #Icon19 meet-up!
00:00:56 What do we mean by couriering?
00:03:31 Our experiences of couriering
00:11:41 Who pays for loans, anyway?
00:15:40 Lending pressures and object fatigue
00:22:23 Kloe’s courier trip to Brussels
00:41:48 When things don’t go to plan
01:01:03 Modes of transport and financial compensation
01:06:22 The perks of the job (and some drawbacks)
01:11:02 Listener stories
01:13:36 Dear Jane
01:18:02 Patreon shout-out
01:19:10 Questions, comments, corrections: digitization and acknowledgements
We’re joined by guest host Johanna Sandström as we embark on an adventure with brown soggy stuff: from waterlogged wood and leather to mudlarking and replica toilet seats! We interview Mags Felter from York Archaeological Trust, Kim Roche from MSDS Marine, and Luisa Duarte from Museum of London. Also tune in for a review of ’Preserving Vasa’ and a Dear Jane about university admissions!
00:00:53 News in brief
00:05:34 Our experiences with wet stuff
00:14:56 Interview with Mags Felter
00:33:36 Sulphur is a real pain
00:37:37 Interview with Kim Roche
00:52:27 Interview with Luisa Duarte
01:07:20 Books in bogs
01:14:13 Textiles in ice cubes
01:15:06 Waterlogged rubber?!
01:17:16 Dear Jane
01:21:52 Review: ’Preserving Vasa’
01:26:52 Patreon shout-out
Ho ho ho! We review our predictions for 2018 and make some new ones for 2019, listen to a museum version of The Night Before Christmas, and play a parlour game! Also tune in for this year’s version of 12 Days of Christmas with St Edmund’s Choir, plus a seasonal Dear Jane!
02:34 Museum advent calendars
06:57 Our predictions for 2018 from last year
13:56 Our new predictions for 2019
21:02 The Curator’s 12 Days of Christmas
25:22 Let’s play twenty— oh, TEN questions!
48:50 The Night Before Christmas
50:43 Dear Jane
52:38 Need a Christmas gift?
53:25 Patreon shout-out
Carol text for The Twelve Days of a Conservator’s Christmas (written by Kloe Rumsey, Christina Rozeik, Tom Sutch, and Jenny Mathiasson):
1 a tube of B72
2 purple gloves
3 fresh finds
4 crawling furs
5 old rings
6 hats a-fraying
7 pots for packing
8 books for binding
9 rugs unravelling
10 jars a-seeping
11 paintings peeling
12 coins corroding
The Night Before Christmas (text by Jenny Mathiasson, Benjamin Fox, and Kloe Rumsey)
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through this place
Not a creature was stirring, not a thing in its case.
Festive stock was arranged in the gift shop with care,
In hopes that the visitors soon would be there.
The objects were nestled snug in their crates,
From hand axe and flint to sculptures and plates.
Curators had gone and conservators too,
Alone was security who was making a brew.
When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,
The guard sprang from the kettle to see to the matter.
Were seasonal thieves stealing the lead?
For atop the building had parked a big sled!
From it emerged someone rotund and thick,
The guard knew in a moment it must be St Nick!
He squeezed down the chimney and soon re-emerged,
Covered in cobwebs and other filth he’d disturbed!
Snow on his boots sent the humidity soaring,
The environment would certainly need some restoring.
On his way from the mantle he’d stepped on a trap,
Leaving a boot print which would definitely puzzle the lab.
He consulted the map, passing toilets and stairs,
Past cases of rocks, odd primates, and wares.
Scanning around, there was no scent of pine,
Barely a hint of tinsel, nor a whiff of mulled wine!
’Til he encountered the tree, the jewel of the hall,
Where he unloaded his sack, producing gifts big and small.
Books, walkie-talkies, and tools ergonomic,
Brushes, adhesives – even detergent (non-ionic).
But where was his treat, to sustain on the way?
No food in the gallery, he took to the café.
A mini of sherry swiped from the supply,
Some gingerbread biscuits and a cheeky mince pie!
Spotting the guard, nearing the end of his shift,
He brought forth a flask – a personal gift!
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
He was heard to exclaim as he drove out of sight:
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
Come have an auditory look into our tool stashes! We talk conservation tools of all kinds: from bone folders and scalpel blades to the more hardcore variety! We discuss listener tweets about tools and Christina interviews a whole bunch of conservators about their tool kits.
00:00:27 News in brief
00:03:34 What’s in our tool kits?
00:18:28 What are our favourite tools?
00:22:59 Responses from Twitter
00:40:23 Are expensive tools a barrier to entry?
00:47:06 Inspiration outside the field
00:49:09 Listener contributions
00:53:09 Christina interviews conservators about their tools
01:15:26 What do we love about Japanese tissue?
01:20:20 Patreon shout-out!
Join us for a risqué episode about smutty collections! We talk about sexual museum objects, attitudes to pornography and art, bedroom fashion, and erotic museums! (Contains 20% more giggling than usual. May cause blushing in some listeners.) Also tune in for a review of ‘On Sexuality’ and a Dear Jane about imposter syndrome.
00:24 Can collections be a bit naughty? (Spoilers: yes)
03:15 Our experiences of working on ‘smutty’ objects
09:15 What’s smutty in collections anyway?
16:32 Dedicated erotic museums around the world
22:58 How do we archive porn and why is it important?
30:45 Jenny has some weird exhibition ideas
33:38 The endangered ephemera of saucy magazines
35:17 Representation of LGBTQ+ relationships
38:37 Deterioration of modern materials
44:00 Review: ‘On Sexuality’
47:48 Dear Jane
54:11 Catching up after the Museums Association conference
We’re joined by Natalie Jones as we talk about natural history in all its forms: from taxidermy to fluid specimens! Jenny also talks to Lucie Mascord about becoming a natural history conservator, and Kloe talks to David Gelsthorpe about outreach and audiences for these collections. Also tune in for a ‘Dear Jane’ about unknown specimens and a review of ‘Dyes from Nature’ by Kloe!
00:00:53 News in brief
00:03:23 How do you become a natural history conservator anyway?
00:08:09 Are museums falling back in love with taxidermy?
00:13:08 Definition and range of natural history collections
00:15:54 Working with icky or scary things
00:23:18 Fixing fur with felting
00:28:55 Interview with Lucie Mascord
00:42:49 Terminology and the value of crib sheets
00:46:19 Interview with David Gelsthorpe
01:04:34 Our audiences
01:06:21 Review: ‘Dyes from Nature’
01:11:23 Dear Jane
01:15:11 Patreon shout-out
01:15:50 Questions, comments, corrections: our poll on being parents in conservation