We go behind the scenes at the National Museum of Australia to learn more about their work to conserve Australia’s historic art.

30 October 2017

The NMA hosts more than 200,000 objects in their collection. These range from cars, airplanes and carriages to gardening tools, glass eyes and tapestries.

Some of the most significant and important items to our history and culture are bark paintings. The NMA has the largest collection of bark paintings in the world with more than 2000 in its care. It is one of the longest ongoing artistic traditions in the world with important connection to Country and Indigenous identity.

Yet barks are fragile due to their organic nature and can move and shift in reaction to temperature and humidity. 

NMA Conservator Jennifer Brian talks us through the tools and techniques to ensure the barks are preserved so the Australian public can continue to enjoy this unique artwork medium.

Take a look behind the scenes in the NMA conservation lab:

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