Posts Tagged ‘NWFED events’

GUEST BLOG: NWFed Event – Handling, Packing and Moving Museum Objects

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

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Image courtesy Chrissy Partheni

NWFED Event: A Beginner’s Guide to Handling, Packing and Moving Museum Objects

When: Thursday 10 November 2016
Where:  Museum of Science and Industry, Liverpool Road, Manchester

Report by Guest Blogger, Laura Biggadike, Galleries Coordinator, The Lowry, Salford

As a recent Masters graduate who now works as a Galleries Coordinator at The Lowry, I would consider myself relatively knowledgeable on object handling techniques but, as these fields move on so quickly and different institutions have different methods, I thought that attending the NWFed object handling day could only work to broaden my understanding.

Beside the free tea and biscuits on offer, one of the key draws to these kind of sector events is the opportunity to meet other museum professionals. Yes, partly for networking and formal reasons but mainly because I genuinely believe that a huge amount can be learnt, or discussions triggered, through conversation with other museum workers – even if you disagree on methods or have contrasting experience. It was therefore lovely to have such a range of attendees – from other recent graduates to experienced volunteers, from MoSI and The National Football Museum, to the National Trust – all with varied backgrounds and roles to draw from.

The workshop itself was a refreshingly relaxed run-through of basic packing and handling techniques and materials with an integrated practical session and tour. For those who were new to the subject, the informal atmosphere meant that there was no fear of asking a ‘stupid’ question or coming across inexperienced so that everyone could truly benefit from the knowledge of MOSI conservator Sarah Bird, who was also willing to answer case specific questions.

Though much of the information was straight forward to me – having not long graduated – I enjoyed the process of going through the techniques step-by-step so that I could examine my thought process rather than merely going into ‘autopilot’. The practical session was a good opportunity to work with objects different to the fine art pieces I now handle as part of my job, and allowed me to see the materials and methods preferred by other organisations. I chose a vintage teapot from the object selection to wrap as it is vastly different to anything I work with at The Lowry – but with contemporary art you never know what you will get so I thought it couldn’t hurt.

Finally the tour was a hugely enjoyable insight into the behind-the-scenes areas of one of the North West’s best museums. Listening to the issues and considerations the staff face was both interesting and a catalyst for conversation, and I could have spent all day looking through their diverse range of items.

Overall it was a highly enjoyable and interesting day with helpful and lovely staff, an interesting array of attendees and some very helpful hand-out sheets. Thank you to everyone involved and I can’t wait for the next installment – perhaps an intermediate session?

For information on future NWFed events, please visit our events section by Clicking Here