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
We’re joined by guest host Vicky Singleton and have a chat about the world of military collections: what’s in them, how we feel about them, and what we do with them. Also tune in for an interview with Ian McCollum from Forgotten Weapons about researching and filming in museums.
00:40 Our experiences
06:42 Types of military museums in the UK
09:16 Jargon and language use
13:48 Working with veterans
16:08 Collecting, conserving, and ethics
27:23 Oversized objects
33:01 Funding landscape
35:06 Donations typically coming in
40:15 Amazing things we’ve seen
45:07 Interview with Ian McCollum
We uncover the mysteries of costume mounting: from the magic of Fosshape to whittling down mannequins to size! Tune in for an interview with Lara Flecker about mounting and displaying fashion in museums. Kloe reviews ‘The Care and Display of Historic Clothing’ AND the Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up exhibition at the V&A. Our agony aunt Jane also answers a question about hourly rates.
00:00:26 News in brief
00:01:16 Our experiences of mounting costume
00:07:59 Mannequins: the good, the bad, and the ugly
00:10:24 How do we display partial costume?
00:15:51 Altering mannequins
00:19:14 What can ‘costume’ mean?
00:23:07 The usefulness of magnets
00:29:51 How important is the choice of mannequin for how people perceive the object?
00:31:11 Do mannequins have ethnicity?
00:36:49 Fashion and weddings – but where are the everyday dress exhibitions?
00:42:11 Useful resources and recommendations
00:46:13 Interview with Lara Flecker
00:58:07 Dear Jane
01:02:19 Review: ‘The Care and Display of Historic Clothing’
01:07:38 Bonus review: ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’ exhibition
01:12:09 Patreon shout-out!
Today we’re breaking an imagined taboo and talking about parenthood and having (or not having) children as conservators. We talk about flexibility at work, fertility problems, unexpected anxiety, and if The Right Time actually exists. Tune in for an interview with Karen Horton about being deliberately childfree and listen to Sophie Rowe and Christina having a chat about being working mothers. We also get to hear what Christina’s kids think she does at work!
00:00:23 Why talk parenthood?
00:02:41 Our experiences and thoughts around motherhood
00:08:23 How maternity pay works in the UK
00:11:47 How life changes after having children
00:16:53 Job security and feeling like you’re pulling your weight
00:24:56 How many conservators actually have children?
00:32:10 How maternity and shared parental leave works in the UK
00:35:42 Interview with Karen Horton
00:43:01 Choosing not to have kids
00:47:18 Interview with Harriet (5) and Alexander (7)
00:58:25 Health and safety and the joy of risk assessments
01:02:55 Why we need more flexibility at work
01:03:53 Interview with Sophie Rowe
01:32:40 Listener stories
01:42:20 Patreon shout-out
01:43:25 Comments, questions, and corrections
We’re kicking off season four with the topic of sustainability: going green in conservation! What can conservators do to make the world a little greener? We try to rustle up some practical tips and discuss some of the challenges museums face. We talk to sustainability champion Sarah Staniforth about her work around the world and to Caitlin Southwick about the Sustainability in Conservation (SiC) network. Also tune in for a review of two green heritage books!
00:01:02 News in brief
00:03:25 Definitions, definitions!
00:05:53 Institutional sustainability: can we keep collecting?
00:11:49 People power and the impact of conservators
00:14:14 Measuring impact and carbon footprints
00:16:29 Things conservators can think about
00:21:04 Glove recycling and the allure of purple furniture
00:23:35 Storage solutions and the curse of the Instagram-worthy box
00:26:06 Exhibitions and reuse
00:32:52 Choice of materials and chemicals
00:37:57 Interview with Sarah Staniforth CBE
01:01:03 Green champions and what we do
01:06:11 Conferences – are they very green?
01:08:15 Interview with Caitlin Southwick
01:24:07 Review: ‘Sustainable Heritage – Merging Environmental Conservation and Historic Preservation’ and ‘Sustainable Museums – Strategies for the 21st Century’
01:30:21 Comments, questions, and corrections
01:30:57 Patreon shout-out!
Join us for a special episode when Kloe and Jenny go on a road trip to Cambridge! (Please note: this episode has VERY varied audio quality through-out due to different recording settings.) We talk about opening events, meet up with Christina, visit Kirstie Williams and Karen Horton at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, interview Natalie Jones about the museum decant, and attend the opening ceremony for the refurbished Museum of Zoology.
00:00:52 Going for a ride in the car and memories of a decant
00:06:25 News in brief
00:10:18 Our experiences of opening events
00:27:00 Types of opening events and who gets invited?
00:32:58 Christina gives us a tour of MAA
00:42:24 Jenny and Kloe in the new zoology galleries
00:45:54 Interview with Natalie Jones
00:50:04 Summary of the event
01:02:41 Comments, questions, and corrections
01:03:38 Vintage Museums Journals
01:11:58 Patreon shout-out!