Conservation workshop

Zofia Wyszomirska-Noga
After a long break caused by the quarantine, the team of the Piłsudski Institute have had the opportunity to meet virtually at the conservation workshop conducted by Zofia Wyszomirska-Noga, an artist and certified art conservator. Zofia previously cooperated with the Institute on the ’Forgotten Forces' - Polish Women in the Second World War’ project, as part of which she created a series of mixed-media works on paper inspired by the memories of Polish women who, together with Gen. Anders' army, got to the UK during the WW2.

Thanks to Zofia, we learned how to work with one of the most delicate materials - paper. From the team's point of view, this issue is particularly important as archives and works on paper constitute the dominant part of the Institute's collection. Interestingly, basic conservation techniques, also performed by volunteers and interns, can be used when working with other materials such as leather. Archives are often made of many materials, for example in the case of volumes, often consisting of a leather cover and paper content. So we already know how to perform simple cleaning of objects and how to proceed in case of deterioration.

Zofia's anecdotes related to her profession were extremely interesting. In her career as a conservator, she had the opportunity to work with such interesting objects as Albert Einstein's personal notes or a very long telegram from Queen Victoria to the US President James Buchanan. The uniqueness of the objects we work with - records of history - gives a sense of importance to our work. I look forward to the day when we will be able to apply Zofia's theoretical tips in practice while working with the collection.

Natalia Puchalska