AIM Conservation Grants – Next Round Closes 30 September

AIM members from small and medium size museums are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme. Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on 30 September 2016.

Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections. To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website: AIM Grant Schemes.

Please note that the typical grant awarded is £5,000 or under. If you have any questions about these grants, please email: justeen@aim-museums.co.uk

We like to showcase examples of successful applicants, so that anyone thinking of applying can see the type of conservation work that AIM has previously funded. The following is a report from the American Museum in Britain in Bath, who were awarded £5000 awarded for the purchase of an ELTEK environmental monitoring system.

 USA museum

The American Museum opened in 1961 and is the only museum of American decorative and folk art outside the United States. Housed within a Georgian manor house and a modern exhibition gallery, the museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens and countryside.

As part of our mission to conserve and protect our objects, we monitor the environmental conditions throughout the whole Museum, including storage spaces.  Our old system consisted of five mechanical thermohygrographs.  They took a long time to manually calibrate and change their paper charts. They were also bulky and needed to be readily accessible for maintenance, which meant they couldn’t easily be used inside display cases.

We investigated many replacement monitoring systems, from standalone loggers such as the famous TinyTags to fully integrated systems with alarms and flood detection capabilities.  We also consulted other museums to learn from their experiences.  A wireless system was clearly an advantage and the principal reason for our decision to buy the Eltek system was its robust wireless communication – over a large museum site, the communications must work reliably and accurately.

The installed system is living up to our expectations and we are very grateful to AIM.  Thirteen Eltek GD10 sensors are spread throughout three floors and two buildings.  They feed data back to the base station and we have instant access to environmental information over our computer network.

Coupled with the lengthy battery life of the units, this has already meant a huge reduction in the time required to attend to each logging location.  That saving in curatorial time means we can have more loggers than before and, as a result, monitor much more of the museum. Most importantly, this new system is providing us with much better data about the conditions in the Museum, which, in turn, is providing us with the opportunity to pursue national loans.

Kate Hebert

Chief Curator, American Museum in Britain

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The Costume Society: Elizabeth Hammond Award 2016

Elizabeth Hammond ARCA (1926-2011) was a Founder Member of the Costume Society and a former Trustee of The Costume Society. She was an embroiderer, textile artist, teacher and collector of textiles. Significant pieces in her collection were conserved and loaned to Museums for public display.

The Costume Society has set up an award in her name following a generous bequest from her estate. The award is intended to promote the conservation and display of clothing and textiles of all periods, styles and places of origin, held within the permanent collections of museums within the United Kingdom, which have annual gross revenues of less than £750,000.

Textile

 ©Historic Royal Palaces

This award is available to finance a wide range of textile conservation projects, from primary assessment to full conservation.  Awards can be made for any amount up to £10,000 in 2016 to one or more successful applicants. From 2017 onwards the award will continue with a lower but still significant level of funding.

The deadline for applications is: 30 May 2016

For full information and how to apply please visit:

 THE COSTUME SOCIETY ELIZABETH HAMMOND AWARD 2016

 

AIM Workshop: What’s Eating Your Collection?

AIM Workshop: What’s Eating Your Collection?

An Introduction to Integrated Pest Management (IPM 1)

Moths munching your textiles? Beetles in your carpets?  Learn how to spot the pests in your collections at this new workshop for AIM members. Funded by The Pilgrim Trust, this free workshop for AIM members will take place in Bodmin, Cornwall on 6 May 2016 at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum.

Staff, Trustees and volunteers from AIM member organisations can attend the workshop for free and it is suitable for anyone who has responsibility for collections that wants to ensure that they are not being damaged by insects.

This workshop aims to provide an introduction to insect pests in museums including recognising damage and monitoring. You will discover:

*Why are insects in museums and which ones are problems?

*What does insect damage look like?

*How can we find out if insects are present and where they are located?

*Where in buildings might problems occur?

Pests collage

Participants will also learn how to monitor appropriately and how to assess a building for possible risk areas. At the end of the course the participants will be able to implement an IPM programme in their museum.

Run by Jane Thompson – Webb, the Conservation Team Leader at Birmingham Museums Trust, this fun and hands on workshop starts at 10.30am and runs until 4.30pm with lunch and refreshments included.

Excellent in content and presentation. Answered all of my questions and was a very practical session. It was also very entertaining!” Course delegate.

Book your free places by downloading the booking form: STR Booking Form CORNWALL

Interested in other AIM collections care workshops? Please see all upcoming events and venues here: AIM Collections Care Workshops 2016

AIM also runs grants schemes to help fund conservation projects. The next deadline is 31 March and information can be found here: AIM Conservation Grants

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AIM Conservation Grants – Next Round Closes 31 March

AIM members from small and medium size museums are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme. Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on 31 March 2016.

If you would like to improve your conservation skills or to chat to an AIM member of staff about our conservation grants, don’t forget that we are offering free collections care workshops funded by The Pilgrim Trust over the next couple of months. Details about these workshops can be found here: AIM Collections Care Workshops

Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections. To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website: AIM Grant Schemes.

Please note that the typical grant awarded is £5,000 or under. If you have any questions about these grants, please email: aimadmin@aim-museums.co.uk

We like to showcase examples of successful applicants, so that anyone thinking of applying can see the type of conservation work that AIM has previously funded. The following is a report from The Powell-Cotton Museum who received an AIM Preventative Conservation grant of £8,942.

Bagging

The Powell-Cotton Museum houses a world-class collection of natural history and ethnographic material from Asia and Africa, mostly collected by the Museum’s founder Percy Powell-Cotton, collected 1890-1939. The museum’s research collection of skins is housed in ‘the Workshops’. These rooms contain over 4000 animal skins, housed mainly in wooden crates and drawers, constructed in the early 20th century.

Over the last decade, the spaces have suffered increased problems with clothes moths, which have begun to damage the collections. The aim of this project was to eradicate the pest problem through the freezing of the skin specimens, the deep-cleaning of the space and the fixing of the damaged floor, which created cavities in which pests could live. The grant also enabled the purchase of metal storage furniture for the lower workshop, so that surfaces could be kept clear of clutter and the spaces made easier to keep clean.

The majority of the project has been undertaken by a group of volunteers who worked one day a week for nearly 2 years, wrapping all the specimens in plastic and freezing them in the walk-in freezer the museum purchased as part of this project. The volunteers also undertook a lot of the cleaning, assisted by the museum’s housekeeping and collections teams. Help also came from the Natural History Museum (NHM), who allowed free use of their large freezer and offered expert IPM advice. Experts were also brought in to recondition and seal the floors and to assist with the move of large specimens to and from the NHM freezers.

The project has led to a massive reduction in pests within the space, down to acceptable levels. We are now working with the NHM to trial a new form of moth repellent, which we hope to roll out across the museum if it is successful. The project has also provided the opportunity to fully audit the skin collection, providing us with an up to date inventory and a better knowledge of our natural history collections.

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New AIM Success Guide: ‘Successful Basic Interventive Conservation’

To help museums, galleries and heritage sites to maintain their collections more effectively in 2016; the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) has just published a new Success Guide called ‘Successful Basic Interventive Conservation’. This is the companion guide to Successful Collection Care and both have been published in English and Welsh thanks to funding from Welsh Government (Museums, Archives and Libraries Division).

The guide has been created to help museum staff and volunteers understand basic interventive conservation techniques, to carry out assessments on objects and to know when to seek additional advice from a professional conservator.  This Success Guide provides an overview of interventive conservation and helps to determine how best to stabilise, clean and safeguard objects without removing evidence of their past life to ensure their survival and to aid the interpretation process.

SG image

Authored by Ciarán Lavelle and Lizzie Miller, Object Conservators at Birmingham Museums Trust, this Success Guide provides practical advice, useful resources and further reading for those who want to learn more about interventive conservation. All AIM Success Guides can be downloaded for free from the AIM website and all titles in the AIM Success Guide series have been produced to provide practical help to all size museums.

Speaking about the launch of this latest Success Guide, AIM’s Executive Director, Tamalie Newbery said: “This latest Success Guide from AIM has been created with the support of two professional conservators and contains easy to understand and practical information to support anyone that works closely with objects in their museum, gallery or heritage site. The guide will help people to carry out initial assessments on an object’s condition, to understand health and safety precautions and to know when to ask for help from a professional conservator.”

‘Successful Basic Interventive Conservation’ is now available to download from the AIM website in English and Welsh.

Free Islamic Ceramics Study Day for UK Museums

A free study day for all UK museum professionals about Islamic Ceramics run by The Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network is taking place at the V&A on Wednesday 25th November.

Led by Dr Mariam Rosser-Owen (V&A, Asia Dept), the study day will provide an opportunity to learn about Islamic Ceramics from some of the UK’s leading curators and academics and to examine the V&A’s world class collection. The day will include a range of presentations, discussions, object handling and networking opportunities. For a detailed programme please visit News & Events.

study day edit

The study day will provide an opportunity to learn about Islamic Ceramics from some of the UK’s leading curators and academics

The SSN for Islamic Art and Material Culture aims to help museums unlock their collections by sharing expertise on objects and best practice in this specialist area. They particularly welcome museum professionals from regional museums, who are keen to develop their collections in this area and to use them to help engage more diverse audiences at their own institutions.

For further information please visit

  The Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network  

Twitter    @IslamSSN

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AIM Conservation Grants – Next Round Closes September 30

AIM members from small and medium size museums are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme. Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on September 30th 2015.

Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections. To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website: AIM Grant Schemes

We like to showcase previous examples of successful applicants, so that anyone thinking of applying can see the type of conservation work that AIM has previously funded. The following is a report from Colonel A S Taylor, Honorary Curator at The Herefordshire Light Infantry Museum, on how an AIM Conservation Grant of £1684 supported the conservation of a painting.

The Herefordshire Light Infantry Museum

‘Advance at Suvla’ by Charles Dixon, courtesy of The Herefordshire Regimental Museum

The Herefordshire Regimental Museum exists in Hereford to maintain the spirit and ethos of the Regiment. The Herefords (as they were known) were a Territorial Regiment, mobilised for action in 1914 and 1939. The Herefords, comprising a single Battalion, were mobilised in August 1914 and had their baptism of fire at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli; the action depicted in this painting ‘Advance at Suvla’.

The Battalion performed well and their actions were brought to the attention of the Commander in Chief, Sir Ian Hamilton who specifically mentioned them in his despatches. Most of the men serving in the Battalion at the time were from Herefordshire and many of the families of those soldiers still live in the county and some are associated with the Museum and the Reserve Forces.

The painting by Charles Dixon, a painter of some note, was commissioned soon after the action by the County’s Territorial Forces Association to commemorate the event. Through the years the painting has become synonymous with the Herefordshire Regiment; it is effectively the Regiment’s and Museum’s ‘trademark’ and is recognised throughout the County. The painting forms a significant part of the Museum’s collection and hangs in the Drill Hall at Suvla Barracks.

As part of the centenary commemorations it is planned to hold, amongst other events an Open Day (Suvla100), which is fully supported by The Herefordshire First World War Centenary Committee (HFWWCC). The plan includes the display of 100 medals groups of men from the Herefords that served at Gallipoli. The Advance at Suvla painting will also be prominent during this period and will make a significant contribution to the commemorations.

The Trustees determined that the painting should be restored and conserved prior to the centenary; from records held for the first time since it was painted in 1921. Advice was sought from the County’s Museum Services staff and a plan put in place. Britton and Storey, ICON registered conservators were selected to carry out the work and conducted a detailed survey.

The Museum is totally volunteer run and receives no formal funding, thus the cost of the task was a major consideration. Discussions with The Friends of Herefordshire Museums and Arts secured a grant in support of this project of £500. AIM agreed to fund the balance the project cost: £1684.

The work is now complete and the painting hangs in pride of place in the Drill Hall, new (painting friendly) lighting has been installed and the painting looks stunning and will certainly be a most significant part of the commemorations; it has already drawn considerable complimentary comment. The Museum Trustees are most grateful for the generous grant received from AIM which made the conservation possible.

Colonel A S Taylor

Honorary Curator

The Herefordshire Light Infantry Museum

How to apply for the next round of AIM Conservation grants

If you are an AIM member from a small to medium size museum and you need financial support to carry out conservation, you are eligible to apply to the AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme and the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme.

Both schemes are generously supported by The Pilgrim Trust and the next round of applications closes on September 30th 2015.

Since these grant schemes started, hundreds of AIM member museums and heritage sites have benefited, and both schemes have been set up to help develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections.

To check your eligibility and for further information, please see the AIM website HERE

Hearing how grant recipients have used their funding is always interesting and hopefully useful for anyone thinking of applying. The following is a report from The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum, Winchester on how an AIM Conservation grant of £4,252.50 has helped to preserve a collection of seven important paintings.

 

GJ 2

Images courtesy of The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum, Winchester

On 25th March 2015, His Grace the Duke of Wellington opened the Museum’s special Battle of Waterloo Bicentenary Exhibition, ‘With the Rifles to Waterloo’, on which £400,000 has been expended. A substantial part of that sum has been used to create a multi-functional space including an art gallery to showcase the Museum’s fine collection of Waterloo oil paintings.

A year ago, however, the collection was not so fine. It was badly in need of conservation and, with all the available money being spent on other aspects of the exhibition, the Museum applied for the first time for an AIM conservation grant.

The application was for the conservation of seven paintings, with each the subject of a prior condition report by a fine art conservator listed on the Conservation Register.

GJ 1

Completion of the application form was straightforward with justification for conservation focused on the importance of displaying the paintings in the best possible condition as part of our Bicentenary Exhibition. We could not be more pleased with the outcome.

The creation of the gallery with proper lighting and temperature control, combined with the excellence of the newly-conserved paintings properly displayed for the first time since the Museum opened in 1989, has already been the subject of much favourable comment from visitors – as has the overall excellence of the exhibition (open until 30th September).

Apart from being extremely grateful to AIM and the Pilgrim Trust for receipt of this important grant, it has already had other beneficial effect. With some of our paintings now in better condition than others, it has highlighted the need for us to place a much higher priority on the conservation of the whole of our collection and, by hook or by crook, to find the money to fund the cost.

Christopher Wallace

Chairman of Trustees

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum, Winchester

Website: The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum, Winchester

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AIM Conservation Grant: The Museum of Cannock Chase

The following is an account from The Museum of Cannock Chase on how an AIM conservation grant of £1,280 helped with the conservation of WWI photograph and documents.

The Museum of Cannock Chase  is the only museum in Staffordshire holding considerable collections pertaining to the area’s coal mining industry.

There were four framed works in wooden frames with unstable mounts which were beginning to leech onto the documents and photograph which were in need of conservation.

Two of the works related to the new coal mining gallery and two related to World War 1 soldiers in the immediate area.

can 1

  • Coloured photograph of Norman Bishop. Mr Bishop lived in Hednesford, fought in and survived WW1.
  • 1914-1919 Framed address to Mr Sydney Young for his service in the Great War.
  • Award to Ernest Bailey 1935 by Carnegie Trust. Accident West Cannock Colliery No 3.
  • Citation for James Gater ( along with silver medal) 1908 for bravery during Coppice Colliery disaster from Royal Humane Society

In line with our care and conservation plan, the objects were high priority as we wanted to exhibit the two World War 1 items in the museum during the period of the Great War commemorations. In addition we are keen to introduce items from store into the new mining gallery at regular intervals. These items could not have been displayed because of their condition until they were conserved.

The works were taken for conservation to Louise Vaile at Ogilvie Vaile Conservation – based at Birmingham Museum. The documents were removed from their frames, stabilised, remounted and placed in frames with low acid mounts so that we can preserve them for future generations.

can 2

To find out more about AIM Conservation grants, please visit AIM GRANTS

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AIM Member Workshops: An introduction to collections care

Why don’t objects last for ever? Why does it matter where watercolours are displayed? Why is it necessary to wear gloves to handle objects? If you have ever wondered why collections care matters – or even what it is – then this is the workshop for you.

Workshop Tutor, Jane Thompson Webb, will show you what the main agents of decay are and how they can damage objects. You will also be offered a range of practical strategies to help ensure that your collections will be accessible now and in the future.

Each workshop runs from 10am – 4.30pm and delegate packs with useful conservation items and lunch/refreshments will be provided.

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to spot the causes of damage in their own collections and introduce monitoring and/or mitigation strategies.

Taking part in collections care workshops is also a lot of fun and a great opportunity to get up close to some interesting objects!

If you work or volunteer in a museum, this workshop will give you a greater understanding of caring for your collections, why objects deteriorate and what practical steps you can take to limit damage.

This is a free workshop for AIM members, funded by The Pilgrim Trust

Booking early is advisable with 20 places available at each workshop.

For further information, please contact: sassy@aim-museums.co.uk

Cons, 162 Salisbury pitt rivers

Dates and Venues

     Firing Line, Cardiff Castle (CARDIFF) – Friday 27th March

The Interpretation Centre, Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Cardiff CF10 2RB

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-the-rot-an-introduction-to-collection-care-tickets-16034860700

National Football Museum (MANCHESTER) – Thursday 9th April

Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Todd Street, Manchester M4 3BG

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-the-rot-an-introduction-to-collection-care-tickets-16034930910

Derby Museum & Art Gallery (DERBY) – Monday 13th April

The Museum and Art Gallery, The Strand, Derby, DE1 1BS

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-the-rot-an-introduction-to-collection-care-tickets-16034977048

The Quilt Museum and Gallery (YORK) – Thursday 16th April

St Anthonys Hall, Peasholme Green, York, North Yorkshire YO1 7PW

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-the-rot-an-introduction-to-collection-care-tickets-16035009144

The Black Watch Castle and Museum  (PERTH – SCOTLAND) – Friday 24th April

Balhousie Castle, Hay Street, Perth PH1 5HR

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stop-the-rot-an-introduction-to-collection-care-tickets-16035030207

Download: AIM Members Conservation Workshops Information

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