Conservation projects complete!

In March we completed our work conserving the objects that will feature in the new First World War Galleries and atrium at IWM London as part of our Transforming project. Over the last 18 months, the conservation teams at IWM Duxford and IWM London have conserved and prepared a whopping 1,456 objects.

We’ve also been busy working closely with the gallery designers, architects and mount makers to ensure that the objects are safely displayed as they are installed onsite in the coming months before IWM London re-opens on 19 July 2014.

The objects have ranged from the small, everyday items such as letters or diaries to much larger items such as artillery guns, tanks and vehicles.

Here are some of the highlights from the items we’ve prepared since the project began in late 2012.

Monty’s Staff Car

The Humber Super Snipe Staff Car under conservation at IWM Duxford

This Humber Super Snipe Staff Car, known colloquially to IWM staff as ‘Monty’s Staff Car’, was conserved by the conservation team at IWM Duxford, who spent many months of research in order to restore it to its 1944 colour scheme. You can read about the conservation of the car here.


The Tiled Eagle

The German mural ‘Tiled Eagle’ which has been at the museum since 1919.

This was one of the first objects I worked on during the first phase of the Transforming project – the recording, preparation and conservation of objects before they were decanted from our old atrium.

One of the challenges of this particular object I faced was that different parts of it had deteriorated more quickly than others, so each individual tile and the adhesive that holds it together had to be monitored to prevent any further loss or damage.


The British Camouflage Tree

This First World War observation tree was one of the most interesting pieces I worked on. You can find out how we cleaned and restored the tree in this short film.


A child’s doll from the Second World War

A doll made in the Latvian Camp at Brunnighausen.

One of the final objects I worked on in preparation for the gallery installation was a doll made in the Latvian Camp at Brunnighausen.  Under the guidance of the textile conservator I humidified the doll’s skirt and sleeves to remove the deep creases and give the doll more shape.  The green coloured textile had started to deteriorate and crumble so I carefully sewed protective netting over the top of these areas to support it and help prevent further crumbling.


The teams are now busy planning the installation of the new galleries and displays, but we thought it was important to note this key milestone in the Transforming London project.

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