One of the real privileges of my job is being able to see some of the behind the scenes work that goes into the creation of museum displays, the sort of things that most people take for granted. For example, not many people know that every single display stand supporting artefacts in our venues has been individually made by the highly skilled people in the technical services department, based in the National Conservation Centre. They don't just buy shelves and supports from the DIY stores, they hand craft every single display stand to suit the specific needs of the object it will be supporting.
The newest member of the team, Helen Halliwell, got to see her first major project go on display today. Helen worked with senior technician Bill Sillitoe to make a display stand for the World Cultures gallery at World Museum Liverpool to show contemporary netsuke figures. The smart circular stand has brushed Perspex shelves on both side to display the tiny figures from the Jonas Goro Gadelius collection, which was kindly donated to the museum by his widow Gabita. The really clever part is that it has a removable coloured disk in the middle, so when the display is refreshed each year to show different netsuke figures, it will be easy to change from its current red to a different colour that will suit the new figures.
You can see more photos of the installation in our netsuke display set on Flickr