Mountmakers Forum programme

Sixth International Mountmakers Forum

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The conference programme is arranged across three days. The first two days take place in South Kensington in London. The third day consists of a choice of musuem and studio tours in London and Oxford.

25 Sep 2018 - South Kensington

  • Main talks 8:45am - 5.00pm: The Great Hall, Imperial College London
    The Great Hall is located on the 2nd floor of the Sherfield Building (building 20 on the Imperial College map)
  • Evening reception 7pm - 9pm: Natural History Museum, Darwin Centre Cocoon
    Entrance is via the Queen's Gate entrance (see NHM entrances map)

Venue maps

Download maps of Imperial College and NHM entrances.

  • Speakers

    Teaching old bone new tricks – the dismantling and re-mounting of the NHM’s blue whale skeleton

    • Arianna Bernucci, Senior Conservator, Natural History Museum London
    • Matt Fair, Production Manager, Research Casting International, Canada

    Art & dress: Mounting the wardrobe of Frida Kahlo

    • Rachael Lee, Textile Conservation Display Specialist, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

    Supporting the exhibition: Incorporating and standardising mount making and installation to support the exhibition and loan preparation of the Nationaal Museum Van Wereldculturen

    • Martijn de Ruijter, Conservator, Nationaal Museum Van Wereldculturen, Netherlands

    Creating a mount making house-style and supporting training course

    • Shelley Seston, Senior Collections Manager: Care and Access, British Museum, London

    'You’re Not Getting Enough Fiber.' Exploring the use of carbon fiber to support a seventh century hollow core Buddha sculpture for transport and exhibition at the Freer/Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C.

    • Frederick Sager, Supervising Conservation Preparator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

    Mounting the crucified Christ without nails, using techniques of stage magic to safely mount a figure floating off a wall

    • Vincent Avalos, Mountmaker, The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

    Osteomontage technique developed for the exhibition of the UNIVALI Oceanographic Museum

    • Bibiana da Conceição Lessa, Assistant Curator, Museu Oceanográfico Univali (MOVI), Universidade do Vale do Itajaí - UNIVALI, Brazil

    Updating and reusing an existing mount in the repair and re-installation of a sixteenth century Mughal Indian Jali

    • Jamie Hascall, Mountmaker/Trainer, Hascall Consulting LLC, Seattle

    The Gurob ship-cart model: unifying fragments

    • Richard Hards, Senior Mountmaker - Antiquities Conservation, J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

    Invisible mounts: mounting a collection of Native American artefacts

    • Earl Lock, President, Earl Lock Inc. Chicago

26 Sep 2018 - South Kensington

  • Short talks and poster presentations 9am - 5pm: The Flett Theatre, Natural History Museum
    Entrance is via the Exhibition Road main entrance (see NHM entrances map)
  • Presentations and speakers

    Short talks

    African currency – the magnetic attraction

    • Keith Conway, Exhibits Specialist Mountmaker, Smithsonian National museum of African Art Washington DC

    Double-sided textile mount

    • William Donnelly, Conservation Assistant, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, USA

    Anthony Gormley’s marquette’s: Two methods of tethering objects with monofilament fishing line

    • Roger Murray, Senior Sculpture Technician, Tate Britain London

    The benefits and complexities of international collaboration: new challenges and solutions for the use of coin/ring mounts in earthquake-prone regions

    • Rita L. Amor Garcia, Conservation and Exhibition Assistant, Plowden & Smith, London

    Mount making for a holotype specimen

    • Geoffrey Leonard, Exhibits Preparator, Natural History Museum of Utah, USA

    How to mount 133 square metres  of an eighteenth century flag

    • Deborah Phipps, Textile Conservator, Norfolk Museums Service, Norfolk England
    • Katie Jeffs, Display designer, Conservation and Design Services, Norfolk England 

    Working with 60-year-old mounts for a 100 metre long imperial dragon

    • Jane Manallack, Assistant Collection Manager, Museums Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

    Piña-Seda: Pineapple and silk cloth from the Tropics

    • Allan Alverez, Museum Researcher, Ethnology Division, National Museum of the Philippines

    STASH What it is and how you can get involved

    • Shelly Uhlir, Exhibits Specialist Mountmaker, National museum of the American Indian, Washington 

    Mount making successes and failures for fluid preserved vertebrates (and one nudibranch)

    • Ian Hart, Preparator, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

    Hold onto your hats! Developing time efficient, adaptable internal mounts for the storage of headwear in museum collections

    • Becky Doonan, Textile Conservator, Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow

    Poster Presentations

    Mount development for two galleries at the World Museum Vienna

    • Luba Nurse, Conservator and researcher, historic textiles & dress and ethnographic collections, World Museum Vienna

    The adoption of a museum system developed and replicated in museums in the state of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil

    • Jules Marcelo Rosa Soto, General Curator
    • Bibiana da Conceição Lessa, Assistant Curator
    • Alberto Luciano Fronza, Coordinator of Museograf Gerson
    • Carlos Rocha, Assistant Curator

    Museu Oceanográfico Univali (MOVI), Universidade do Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI) Brazil

    The principles of creating a magnetic mounting system: The physics every conservator needs to know

    • Gwen Spicer, Textile, Upholstery, Paper, and Objects Conservator, Spicer Art Conservation, LLC, NYC

    Mounting and installation of a large entomology display for Hintze Hall

    • Mike Peel, Exhibition Specialist, Natural History Museum London

    Creating a display and storage mount for a structurally weak basket

    • Libby Ireland, Postgraduate conservation student, University College London

    Mounting the type specimen of Pliosaurus carpenteri, an 8 metre long fossil pliosaur (extinct marine reptile) skeleton for Bristol City Museum, including the 3D printed 2 metre long skull

    • Nigel Larkin, Natural History Conservator, Norfolk, England

    Red Star: bringing an archive into the gallery

    • Harry King, Paper Conservation Technician, Tate London

    Cleveland Museum of Art 'Y' mount for garments

    • Philip Brutz, Mountmaker, The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA

    Mounting a twisted spine

    • Darren Dickson, Exhibition Specialist, Natural History Museum London

    Mounting pipe bags: A case study

    • Shelly Uhlir, Exhibits Specialist, Mountmaker, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC

    When galleries shake

    • McKenzie Lowry, Senior Mountmaker, Antiquities Conservation
    • Jerry Podany, Formerly Head of Antiquities Conservation (1985-2016), J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

    PETG book cradles

    • Richard Gould, Exhibits Specialist, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington DC

27 September 2018 - Venues around London and Oxford

  • Workshop tours and exhibition visits

Tour choices for day three

There are a choice of 11 tours being offered, from nine institutions: see the list below. Eight institutions are in London, while the Pitt Rivers Museum is located in Oxford.

Sign-up for the tours has closed.

Tour choices

Venue, accommodation and amenities

The forum venues and accommodation options.

1. British Museum

A tour of the workshops and conservation studios, followed by a look at The British Museum's new approach to mountmaking in one of our recently refurbished galleries.

2. Horniman Museum and Gardens

A visit to our workshop and layout space to share our approach to planning and mounting for exhibitions and displays. We will focus on work we have done on the World Gallery (opening summer 2018), a new anthropology gallery of over 3,500 objects.

3. Museum of London

A tour showing workshop facilities and also looking at a system of laser cut 'frames' that we developed for our London Before London Gallery (Prehistory), which have consequently found use all over the museum and for exhibitions.

4. Pitt Rivers Museum

The Pitt Rivers Museum was founded in 1884 and appears to some to be virtually unchanged since the Victorian era.

You will be guided through the history of mount-making at the musuem, and learn how approaches and expectations have changed over the years towards improving standards of collections care and display whilst maintaining the unique aesthetic of the Pitt Rivers.

Please note that the Pitt Rivers Museum is based in Oxford not London. 

5. Plowden & Smith

A behind-the-scenes tour of the Plowden & Smith Exhibitions department and our acclaimed conservation studios.

Meet the mountmakers behind projects that include, 'King Tut: Treasures of the Pharaohs' at the California Science Centre, and this year’s Art Fund Museum of the Year award winner, the Postal Museum.

6. Tate Britain

A tour of the Sculpture Conservation Workshops at Tate Britain.

Our workshop is a small multi-purpose area that must meet the various needs of the studio, namely: conservation, mountmaking and packing.

7. Wellcome Collection

The tour will include:

  • The workshop - focusing on woodwork plus brass and acrylic mounts
  • An object store - for clean mount work, ie measuring objects
  • Framing and mounting area
  • New Medicine Man showcases and object mounts

8. Science Musuem

A tour of the Science Museum's basement workshops, including A/V department, foundry and machinery shop.

Followed by a tour of one of our most recent galleries.

9-11. V&A

Three tours are on offer:

  • The Technical Services workshops

  • Paper and Book Conservation

  • The Textile Conservation Studio combined with a viewing of our current fashion exhibition