Blog: Of love and war
English sculptor Gladys Blaiberg (1882-1969) created paper sculptures of Australian troops in London during the First World War. In 1917, Blaiberg volunteered to work in the Australian Forces canteen in London where her interest in the Australian presence became a source of inspiration for her paper figures. Largely caricaturing the Australian troops, she became fascinated with their spirited sense of humour and irreverence for authority. In 1917-18, Blaiberg even exhibited the sculptures in her studio for the entertainment of the Australian troops.
It has been a year since the first blog entry went up about Marthe Gylbert and her letter. In this time, with the help of some very generous people, I have been able to discover much about Marthe and her wonderful love letter. If you have not seen the previous blog entries, they can be found here and here.
Emma Jones previously mentioned in 60 year old sweat on a wedding dress – a conservation challenge the preparation of Miss Platt-Hepworth’s wedding dress for the exhibition Of Love and War. The decision was made by the curator Rebecca Britt to keep the staining as evidence of use.
Friday 11 December 2009 by Bridie Kirkpatrick. 3 comments.
Collection, Exhibitions, Conservation, Of love and war Exhibition, Conservation, Of Love and War, Textile, kitbag, Sgn John Conrad Lynam, Dorothy Lamour, pin-up
Isn’t it funny how things come about? While working on the textiles component for the exhibition Of Love and War a painted kitbag came to me for treatment. The lovely pin-up painted on the bag looked an awful lot like Dorothy Lamour, a beautiful actress known as the “Sarong Girl” in the 1940’s. As the exhibition will be travelling I had to chuckle that Dorothy Lamour made a string of Bing Crosby/ Bob Hope “On the Road” films. The kitbag belonged to Signaller John Conrad Lynam, a timber cutter from Brisbane.
Once we determined that the remaining three wedding dresses, requested for the exhibtion Of Love and War, were able to be safely put on display, the textile conservators worked in collaboration with curators and exhibition staff to determine the dimensions of showcase and, the types and styles of mannequins.
Preparations for the Memorial’s new travelling exhibition Of love and war are nearly complete. The showcases are being built, all the labels and captions are being printed and we’ve been in the recording studio as well.
A large part of the Memorial’s collection relating to love during wartime comes from private records, particularly the letters that were exchanged between lovers separated by conflict.
Back in September, I was doing some work out at our Treloar Annex, which is where our conservators work. I was videoing the construction process of the mannequins being made for the 3 wedding dresses that are to be included in the “Of love and war” exhibition. During a break in filming I got talking to Jessie Firth, who was working on one of the wedding dresses . She was applying fake perspiration to material to see what effect it would have.
As previously explained four wedding dresses were initially selected for "Of Love and War". One of the wedding dresses, originally owned by Mrs N S Bissaker, required hundreds of hours of painstaking work before it would be strong enough for display, so unfortunately it will not be ready for display in “Of Love and War”. Instead this dress with go on our Vulnerable Textiles conservation list and be conserved with all the care it deserves to preserve it for the future.