Ms Morwenna Blewett

  • Conservation and restoration in Nazi Germany and occupied countries
  • Physical interactions with collections by early learned societies
  • Museums, science and conservation as sites of unfolding expertise, conflict and collaboration 


My work seeks to further an understanding of the political, social, pedagogical and connoisseurial consequences of physical interventions, or lack thereof, on cultural materials.  At present, I am engaged with examining various aspects of conservation history at the Ashmolean Museum and its wider networks. This ranges from the early methods of preservation practiced by early learned societies and the acceptance of deterioration, to the growth and professionalization of specialist skills within a modern museum setting and the application of new scientific methods of analysis. I also investigate the role, context and reception of conservation and restoration methods through specialised published treatises and writings from Antiquity to the modern day.

I am designing and leading a digitisation project that aims to centralise historic conservation documentation at the Ashmolean Museum which will unite both textural and visual documentation electronically, building the most comprehensive object ‘biographies’ for collection materials to date and, in turn, an associated history of practitioners and their materials and techniques.