The Infill: 17 March 2016

The Infill: all the cool kids are doing it

In like a lion (sort of)

We begin March’s Infill with some devastating news. The cats are back: ‘The Worcester Art Museum Gifts Us the Cat-Themed Exhibition of Our Furriest Dreams‘. More like nightmares, we think. Just look at that ‘Cat in Winter’. We know what he’s thinking… and it’s eeeee-vil. But what do you expect from a beast with devil horn-shaped ear hair?

Of course, not all cats hail from the dark side. In fact, their incessant shedding (we cat-sat for a friend six weeks ago and are still finding hairs in our clothes) can actually be a force for good, as poor William and Beryl Ann Toye from New Orleans, USA discovered to their dismay when hairs from their thirty(!) cats exposed them as art forgers. And perhaps some feline protection would have been useful to the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, where one hapless mouse fell victim to a 155-year-old mousetrap. Then again, looks like Victorian ingenuity had them covered.

Learning: Old skool

You’re on the move, out and about, a social butterfly who likes to see and be seen whilst getting a good, healthy dose of education. These are for you:

Learning: Nu skool

A bit of a wallflower, or like to do your professional development in private? Read on…

A month without painting conservation?

The Chinese New Year celebrations are long over, but this Chinese Imperial Dragon Robe isn’t going away any time soon, thanks to its recent conservation at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. National Flag Day of Canada 2016 is also consigned to the history books, but following what looks like a relaxing day spa outing at the Canadian Conservation Institute, one of the inaugural Flag Day flags from 1965 isn’t. Meanwhile, the CCI’s colleagues at Library and Archives Canada have put together a nice little video about a conserved daguerrotype collection.

The copywriters at the University of Glasgow Library sure know how to grab our attention. When you write a headline like, ‘Conservation of Syphilis Collection‘, you’re bound to get clicks. Luckily the article is about loose text blocks and not, well, you know. But if you’re still too turned off, and you’re in need of a good technique for conserving single-leaf bindings, you can always read the extremely popular (not that we’re bragging) ‘Conservation of a caoutchouc botany book‘. Or pick up some tips on preserving bomb-damaged books like those at the Westminster (UK) School Archive. Haven’t we all got a few of those kicking around in our collections?

Out like a you know what

We searched high and low for some kind of lamb conservation story, and were thrilled (and relieved) to find this piece on the restoration of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, aka The Ghent Altarpiece. Then we found these Mystic Lamb restoration videos. And this Mystic Lamb tour. And the discovery of a 600-year-old (possibly) mystic lamb painted on a medieval wall in Stratford-upon-Avon. And even this article on the restoration of the Mystic Lamb’s country retreat in Scotland! Errm… we think we’d better stop there.

Your video treat:

is a mesmerising teaser for an upcoming film on the life of Van Gogh, the world’s first painted feature film. This promises to be one amazing artistic achivement.

The final word…

… goes to the curator at the Museum of English Rural Life who informed his colleagues of the vermin incident thusly: ‘there appears to be a dead mouse in this mousetrap, which is not described as being there on the database.’ We applaud both his calmness in the face of calamity and his due diligence in ensuring the integrity of the collection’s inventory.

That’s us off to the pub now. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day – time for green beer, silly Leprechaun hats and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow! Cheers, The Gathering

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