The band name game: conservation edition
Our conservators, like pretty much everyone we know, love inventing names for fictitious bands and have found plenty of inspiration in the conservation lab. In what we're pretty sure is a world first, we present a music-conservation crossover that is not only fun but also surprisingly educational.
1 month, 3 weeks ago, by Together In Art
Restored and revived
Creating a Yao ceremonial painting takes about two months and is governed by strict rules of conduct. Conserving nine of these fragile works was an intricate process that took six months to complete.
8 months ago, by Art Gallery of NSW blog
Saving art from obsolescence
Anyone who has ever encountered a corrupted hard drive, or been unable to open an old document, will already be familiar with the fragility of digital material. For the Gallery, this raises a whole range of issues for the artworks and other objects in our care.
9 months ago, by Art Gallery of NSW blog
Would you wrap yourself in your best friend?
Would you wrap yourself in your best friend? Artist Anne Graham proposes just such an idea in her series of felt coats and hats - made from a combination of sheep wool and dog hair - displayed alongside photographs of curators and artists wearing the garments, with their pet dogs in tow.
10 months ago, by Kerry Head
Beneath a passing shower
For the past five decades, Arthur Streeton's 'Passing showers' has been in storage due to its poor condition. With recent conservation treatment, this landscape painting from the 1937 Wynne Prize is once again ready for display.
1 year ago, by Marjolein Hupkes
A pilgrim's progress
More than 100 years ago, an 18th-century portrait of a saint by the Venetian Baroque master Tiepolo washed ashore undamaged after a shipwreck off the Australian coast. It's now back on the walls of the Gallery after conservation treatment.
1 year ago, by Anne Gerard-Austin
Who painted Henry?
The earliest portrait miniatures known to have been produced in England are head-and-shoulder portraits of the young Henry VIII attributed to Lucas Horenbout. Could there be links to the 16th-century portrait panel of Henry in the Art Gallery of NSW collection?
1 year, 11 months ago, by Project Team Henry VIII
Making a Tudor frame
Having established the Gallery's Henry VIII portrait was some 500 years old, there were new questions to answer. What were picture frames like in Tudor England, and how do you go about making a reproduction frame fit for a king?
1 year, 12 months ago, by Project Team Henry VIII
Even before our recent investigations into the mysteries of the Henry VIII portrait in the Gallery’s collection, we knew that some alterations had been made to the artwork. Now, the painting has been restored to let the original work shine.
2 years ago, by Project Team Henry VIII
Dendrochronologists do it with trees
It’s truly extraordinary how much information there is locked within a piece of wood. To help unlock the secrets of the Gallery’s Henry VIII portrait, which is painted on an oak panel, we turned to dendrochronology or tree-ring dating.
2 years ago, by Project Team Henry VIII
Signs of the Cast Shadow Master
Mystery surrounds the Gallery’s portrait of Henry VIII. To get closer to the truth – and to help us plan its much-needed conservation treatment – we needed to get much, much closer to the painting itself.
2 years, 1 month ago, by Project Team Henry VIII
The not-so-young Henrys
The Art Gallery of NSW owns a portrait of Henry VIII, one of the world’s most recognisable figures, but until recently we knew little about it. Some of the artwork’s deepest secrets have now been revealed, following a major research project.
2 years, 2 months ago, by Project Team Henry VIII
Looking good once again
Looming eight metres high, Brett Whiteley's giant pair of matches has become a Sydney landmark, marking the approach to the Art Gallery of NSW from Woolloomooloo. The sculpture has just undergone extensive conservation treatment.
2 years, 3 months ago, by Melanie Barrett
Restoring a Streeton
Almost 100 years after Arthur Streeton painted the WWI battleground of Villers-Bretonneux, a major conservation project has restored both the painting and its frame.
2 years, 7 months ago, by Céline de Courlon
Inside Sidney Nolan's last studio
Sidney Nolan is one of Australia's most celebrated artists. His last studio, in the Welsh Marches on the border of Wales and England, is preserved for researchers and visitors, and still runs as an organic farm.
2 years, 8 months ago, by Paula Dredge
Inside a framing studio
Frames have seldom been paid much attention in art history but they are art’s great scene-setters. A visit to the studio of the Gallery's frame-maker illuminates an art form that lives in the margins.
2 years, 10 months ago, by Sarah Couper
Webber work reveals its secrets
For many years, we've been unable to exhibit the Gallery's only painting by an artist of Captain James Cook's last voyage to the Pacific due to the poor condition of both the painting and the frame. A recent conservation project has not only returned the work to display, but also revealed some secrets.
3 years, 1 month ago, by Paula Dredge
What's going on?
You may have noticed scaffolding being erected out the front of the Gallery as two familiar figures on horseback get some much-needed conservation treatment.
3 years, 2 months ago, by Carolyn Murphy
Restoring a Ramsay
A recent conservation project has brought an important Australian painting - Hugh Ramsay’s 'The foil' 1901 - back to life.
3 years, 10 months ago, by Céline de Courlon
News from the bat cave
An installation of fruit bats on a Hills Hoist by artist Lin Onus has charmed many visitors since its creation in 1991. However, the cracks that appeared in some of the animals started us on the trail of solving a conservation mystery.
4 years, 6 months ago, by Kelly McCauley
Caring for the ancestors
An exquisite pair of 18th-century Chinese portraits is on display after some seriously challenging conservation treatment that tested the mettle of the Gallery's head of Asian art conservation.
4 years, 9 months ago, by Jackie Dunn
A Stella return
Anyone notice a nine-metre long, boldly striped painting miraculously appear in the Gallery last week? The work by Frank Stella is a collection favourite – so where has it been?
4 years, 10 months ago, by Jackie Dunn
The desktop photographs
These days it's easy to take the fragility of the printed photograph for granted. Changes to the way we create images, and how we print them, are presenting a challenge to conservators.
4 years, 10 months ago, by Asti Sherring
Back in black
After a mammoth conservation treatment, a massive one-tonne sculpture by one of Australia’s most important and highest profile sculptors is back on display at the Gallery - structurally stable, rust removed and with a satin black finish.
5 years ago, by Donna Hinton
Saving a Streeton
One of Australia’s best known and most influential landscape painters, Arthur Streeton was an official war artist during World War I. An important work from his service recording the battlefields of Europe is in urgent need of conservation treatment.
5 years, 2 months ago, by Paula Dredge
Take a Captain Cook at this
The Gallery has just one painting from Captain James Cook's voyages in our collection but its poor condition has meant that for some years we haven't been able to exhibit it.
5 years, 8 months ago, by Carolyn Murphy
Conserving Clement's Flippant Flurry
As works of art, Clement Meadmore's massive outdoor sculptures appear to effortlessly defy both gravity and the weight of their steel forms. As a practical challenge, getting one of the roof is far from effortless.
5 years, 9 months ago, by Carolyn Murphy
Piguenit shines once more
WC Piguenit's 'The upper Nepean' is back on display following conservation treatment that has returned its gorgeous golden frame to its former glory.
5 years, 9 months ago, by Carolyn Murphy
Have I got your attention?
In the highlands of Papua New Guinea, some young men wear wigs decorated with bright bird plumes as part of a traditional bachelor cult. Just like in nature, these fine feathers are used to attract attention.
6 years ago, by Kerry Head
Not your average jewels
Twelve scrotum of marsupial tree-dwellers are not the sort of thing you’re likely to find on a piece of modern personal adornment, but when in Wonenara in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea...
6 years, 3 months ago, by Kerry Head
In the frame
A little over a year ago I began my three-year traineeship in reproduction decorative frame-making with David Butler, who has been making frames for the Gallery for over 20 years.
6 years, 3 months ago, by Tom Langlands
Colour and music rolled into one
Painted on two piano rolls, this work by Roy de Maistre translates a classical music score into an array of vibrant colour. A recent conservation project has not only stabilised it for display but also revealed much about the artist's materials and techniques.
6 years, 11 months ago, by Analiese Treacy
Roy de Maistre shapes up
Several Roy de Maistre artworks were in poor shape due to inappropriate storage and remedial treatment before the Gallery acquired them. A recent conservation project has remedied much of the damage, allowing them to be displayed again.
7 years, 1 month ago, by Andrea Nottage
The cracks of Jealousy
It's one of Tom Roberts' most important studio paintings of the 1880s but it's rarely been seen due to its poor condition. A new conservation project is underway to change that.
7 years, 2 months ago, by Andrea Nottage
Preserving the posters of Toulouse-Lautrec
Conservators have the ability to reduce the signs of aging - even when an object is over 100 years old.
7 years, 7 months ago, by Analiese Treacy
Conserving a Gallery favourite
It’s one of the Gallery’s most-loved works of art and now it’s back on display in its magnificent gold-leaf gilded frame after a major conservation project that was also an Australian first.
7 years, 10 months ago, by Carolyn Murphy