The Grimwade Centre Research Day 2016

Please come and join our GCCMCstudents Masters and Phd present their conservation research findings.

Today and Friday 21st October

Theatre 1, 221 Bouverie Street Carlton


Professor Trevor Burnard, Head of SHAPS and Dr Katherine Kovacic, Trustee of the Copland Foundation open the GCCMC Masters and PhD student research presentations TODAY

Theatre 1, 221 Bouverie Street


#GCCMCstudent Shannon Klaassen assessed the potential for 3D photogrammetry in the conservation of William Ricketts Sanctuary sculptures in the Dandenong Ranges. Thank Ben Kreunen from UoM Digitisation Centre


#GCCMCstudent Kim Goldsmith discusses her #conservation research today on the #conservation of shoes made from synthetic polymer-based materials. This research was performed in collaboration with the Powerhouse Museum, Museum of Applied Arts and Science, Sydney.

#GCCMCstudent Julianne Bell’s research into the use of tea as an alternative adsorbent for the preservation of cellulose triacetate film continues our collaboration with the National Film and Sound Archive. Thanks Mick Newhman.


#GCCMCstudent Helen Merrit explores digital reconstruction of a Late Bronze Age Cypriot Poppy Flask. Reviewing online catalogues and other resources, Merrit asks can the non-expert undertake such work to assist conservation?

Poppy Flasks were borrowed from the Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Australian Institute of Archaeological.


And nothing like a conservation documentation pathway-Well done Helen


#GCCMCstudent Ruby Auburn worked with contemporary artists to investigate the degradation properties of popular artist epoxy & acrylic resin coatings for paintings.

Microscopy, Colorimetric spectroscopy and FTIR were all utilised to better understand the materials.


#GCCMCstudent Catherine Collyer discusses her #conservation investigation into the materiality, history and preservation of a rigid polyurethane ether foam and shellac artwork – #georgebaldessin Three Pears

This research project was performed in collaboration with the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art.



Catherine’s polyurethane ether foam samples were shared with the audience.

#GCCMCstudent Grace McKenzie-Mcharg discusses the causes of plastic degradation in archaeology storage environments. This is major problem even the bulk storage of archaeological materials worldwide.


#GCCMCstudent Amy Heffernan’s minor thesis research evaluated earthquake mitigation strategies in Australia and New Zealand museums… asking are we prepared?

This research marks a new collaboration between the Grimwade Centre, Museum Victoria and University of Melbourne Engineer Faculty. Research is timely as earthquakes have been identified by Museum Victoria staff as the third greatest risk to Australian collections.

Friday’s session begins with #GCCMCstudent Bronwyn Dunn who explores the conservation skills gap: addressing the disconnect between traditional trade skills and the conservation of cultural material.

Her research surveyed conservators and related professionals to gain an understanding of current traditional trade skills. Data found that while conservators rely on traditional trade skills regularly like bookbinding, stone masonry, gilding, box making, weaving, basketry and much more, there has been a breakdown of the apprenticeship model.

Dunn advocates for a building a stronger alliance between conservators and TTS practitioners and the establishment of an ‘Endangered Traditional Skills Register’.


#GCCMCstudent Lexi Maller explains characterising binding media in Tang Dynasty wall-art. This research  created binding samples of rabbit glue, gum tragacanth, black box gum, isinglass, black box glue and peach gum.


#GCCMCstudent Adele Barbara investigates the efficacy of using microwave treatments to sterilise mould-affected paper.

This is important research and timely research given mould continues to attack cultural heritage and there is little literature in the area.

#GCCMCstudent Keira Hudson explores the preservation strategies for scrapbooks focusing on a case study of an album of 19th century greetings cards.

Survey data was sought from Australian conservators to document current practices. 21 treatment options were identified. Keira’s research focuses on interventive treatments.


 Louise Murray’s research investigates the facilitation of access by local Indigenous to University of Melbourne cultural collections.