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Grimwade Conservation Services is committed to delivering premier conservation treatment, informed by current and best-practice research, techniques and materials.

Restoring Joan Blaeu’s Archipelagus Orientalis, sive Asiaticus (Eastern and Asian archipelago), 1663

National Library of Australia Collection

Over 1.5 metres in width, the Blaeu map is the first large-scale map of New Holland, and one of only four complete copies known to exist. It is the earliest large-scale map of Abel Tasman's discoveries, and is regarded as the first wall map of Australia.

WATCH: The conservation team working on the Blaeu map. Video: Paul Burston and Sarah Fisher/University of Melbourne

Treatment profiles

  • Restoring one of the world's rarest maps

    Over 350 years ago, Dutch traders produced the first large-scale map of Australia, now it has been painstakingly restored.

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/restoring-one-of-the-world-s-rarest-maps

    Blaeu map crating

    Grimwade Conservation Services team prepare the Blaeu map for its return to the National Library of Australia. Picture: Supplied.

  • Faithfully conserving a Rembrandt

    The Three Crosses is Rembrandt’s powerful depiction of Christ’s crucifixion – but how do you stabilise a 350-year-old print for exhibition while preserving the qualities which make it distinct?

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/faithfully-conserving-a-rembrandt

    Rembrandt in lab

    Conservator Christine Mizzi prepares the print at Grimwade Conservation Services. Picture: Paul Burston, University of Melbourne.

  • Bringing a fire damaged book from the brink

    A new approach to restoring parchment has saved a WW1 Book of Remembrance commemorating local fallen soldiers that was badly damaged by fire and water.

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/bringing-a-fire-damaged-book-back-from-the-brink

    Book of Remembrance

    Detail of The Book of Remembrance, a handwritten memorial to the men of the 58th Battalion Australian Imperial Force (AIF), most of whom died at the WW1 Battle of Fromelle. Picture: Supplied.

  • Cleaning, filling and inpainting a Ramsay

    In late 2019 the painting conservation team, led by Senior Paintings Conservator Cushla Hill, worked to restore a small oil painting by influential Australian artist Hugh Ramsay (1877-1906).

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://arts.unimelb.edu.au/articulation/editions/2020/march-2020/conserving-art

    Ramsay analysis

    Senior Paintings Conservator Cushla Hill inspects the painting by Hugh Ramsay. Picture: University of Melbourne.

  • Conserving Australia's cultural record

    The partnership between the Warmun Art Centre and the Grimwade Centre is based on the mutual understanding that together we can do much more for our two communities than working separately.

    READ THE FULL ARTICLE: https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/conserving-australia-s-cultural-record

    Warman Arts Centre Chairman Gabriel Nodea Warmun Art Centre Chairman Gabriel Nodea working on a restoration outside the Warmun Art Centre. Picture: University of Melbourne.

Before and after treatment

  • Painting repair

    This work was in a degraded condition, with two large tears, dirt across the surface, and a degraded, darkened varnish covering the painting. The painting was cleaned and the discoloured varnish removed. The tears were repaired using a thread-by-thread mending technique. A conservation-grade varnish was applied, and the losses filled and inpainted to match the original surrounding paint layer.

    Painting BT Painting AT

  • Stain reduction

    In this drawing, the most obvious damage was the dark yellow stains. The paper was washed using specialist techniques and solutions to reduce the staining. Final treatment steps involved humidifying and pressing the drawing, then rehousing it in a 100% cotton rag mount board.

    Before treatment After treatment

  • Surface repair

    This large Colossus Globe was severely discoloured, due to degradation of the natural resin varnish layer. There was some cracking and losses of both the plaster globe and paper map. The loose elements were secured. The discoloured varnish was removed and the surface cleaned. Areas of loss were filled and losses were inpainted, followed by a final spray-coating of varnish.

    Globe BT Globe after treatment

  • Paint removal

    This large Honour Roll had been splashed with off white oil paint. Removal of the white paint was undertaken using a solvent gel. This enabled removal of the white paint without affecting the underlying gold lettering. Removal of the old varnish layer was undertaken with organic solvents. Revarnishing and selective retouching in areas of loss were undertaken.

    Honour board BT Honour Board AT

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