Top: Te Papa Painting Conservator Linda Waters
Bottom left: Les Deux Amies before conservation work began, middle: Les Deux Amies conserved but not yet back in its restored frame, right: Linda checking the canvas under microscope
Painting conservators not only restore paintings to their initial splendour. There's often a huge amount of detective work involved as well. That's certainly the case at Te Papa, where conservator Linda Waters has been working on a painting by French-born artist Louise Henderson - the cubist-style Les Deux Amies - The Two Friends. Artists like Colin McCahon were very taken with the painting at the time, but it's sustained some damage since it was finished in 1953. Te Papa bought the work in 2011 and it's about to go on show for the first time now that Linda and other members of the team of worked on the painting. It will be on show as part of Te Papa's Nga Toi Season 4 opening over Easter.