Thursday 16 October 2014 by Alana Treasure. 6 comments.
Art, First World War Centenary, Collection, Conservation Dioramas

Our apologies that it has been a while since our last FWW Dioramas conservation posting - it's been a big year!!

Along with continued cleaning and repairs, some of the tasks and activities we've been spending our time on this year are moulding and casting missing weapons, repairing broken weapons and re-joining the previously cut pieces of diorama bases requiring filling and inpainting. The Semakh diorama has been returned to display in the galleries after decades in storage, and the Desert Patrol diorama introduced. We hope to explain each of these in future blog posts when time allows!

Somme Winter

A sneak peak at Somme Winter behind the new display façade in the gallery

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Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Alana Treasure. 3 comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation Dioramas, Getting ready to move

Part 2 - Reinforcement and Movement

As mentioned previously, the dioramas consist of a number of sections of base framework, some of which are bolted together, some of which are not. Well-hidden behind the display cases, facades and the diorama surface, few still sat on their original leg castors, while many had been trimmed and placed on fascinating, decades-old systems of levelling the individual sections.

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Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Alana Treasure. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation Dioramas, Getting ready to move

Part 1 - Demolition When the Western Front dioramas were previously brought into their current positions when the gallery opened in the 1970s, they were dismantled in (now) Aircraft Hall, and moved in as separate sections and re-joined with plaster and fill material in the space. At that time, the dioramas were not considered National Collection items, a status they gained in the 1990s. As National Collection items, and even if they weren’t, our approach today is to avoid sectioning the dioramas and to move them, where possible, as a single unit.

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Thursday 17 October 2013 by Nick Flood. 6 comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation

One of the most astonishing aspects of the First World War dioramas is the figures of soldiers in battle. These figures show expressive action in minute detail. Figures on the Ypres, 1917 diorama were sculpted by Wallace Anderson between 1922-23 and later cast in metal in 1931.

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Friday 13 September 2013 by Jocelyn Evans. 1 comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation, News Dioramas

While Kasi has been working away at those pesky crates, I’ve been tasked with adhering the flaking paint on the painted backdrops.  In conservation we call this process ‘consolidation’.  While the backdrops of the large dioramas are all in pretty good shape, the two small diorama series (‘Transportation of Supplies’ and ‘Evacuation of the wounded’, each comprising 9 scenes) have not been so lucky.  On some of these small scenes (painted by artist Louis McCubbin) the bonding between the paint film and the curved plaster domes has failed in certain areas, and over time this has

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Tuesday 10 September 2013 by Kasi Albert. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation Dioramas

As more building works continue in the Western Front Gallery, the Diorama Conservation Team has moved into the Sinai Palestine Gallery, to take on the treatment of the beautiful Transportation of Supplies series of dioramas. Although much smaller than most of what we have been tackling so far, these nine scenes present their own set of challenges.

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Last month saw the removal of collection items, large and small, from the Western Front and Sinai–Palestine galleries in preparation for major building works in the space. All of these objects will be moved into storage, with the larger ones going into the Treloar Technology Centre at Mitchell, a large purpose-built shed that houses some of Australia’s national treasures.

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