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Dr Catherine Smith

 BAppSci (Canberra), BA(Hons) (Melb), PhD (Otago)catherinesmith

Tel 64 3 479 7548
Gregory Building, Room 3:01
Email catherine.smith@otago.ac.nz
Office hours: by arrangement

Catherine Smith joined the Department in 2004.

Catherine’s current research focus is the interdisciplinary analysis of Māori textiles based on a background in archaeology and conservation of cultural materials, with more than fifteen years experience in the cultural sector in New Zealand and internationally. Conservation of cultural materials takes into account aesthetic, historic, physical and spiritual aspects of cultural property and combines traditional art historical approaches with scientific methods (materials characterisation, analysis and interactions, deterioration mechanisms). As an ethnographic objects conservator, her research relates specifically to artefacts created by indigenous peoples from the Pacific, focusing on Māori textiles. This area of research involves materials characterisation and artefact analysis (structural identification, classification, degradation) and developing parameters of professional conservation practice.

Catherine is currently supervising staff and students engaged in projects relating to:

  •  material culture analysis of dress and textiles
  •  exhibition and interpretation of dress and textiles, particularly in museums
  •  analysis of archaeological and historic textiles
  •  deterioration mechanisms specific to New Zealand cultural materials

Since 2004 Catherine has been a Consultant with the Clothing and Textiles Centre, University of Otago, undertaking materials analysis for museums, characterising archaeological textiles, and providing community-based training in preventive conservation.

Advisor of studies

  • Bachelor of Applied Sciences and Bachelor of Science, majoring in Clothing and Textile Sciences
  • Undergraduate study in Clothing and Textile Sciences
  • Postgraduate paper CLTE 452: Social Aspects of Clothing and Textiles

Research Expertise

  • Material culture analysis of artefacts
  • Materials identification
  • Technical art history
  • Storage, conservation, and restoration of selected cultural artefacts
  • Conservation ethics

Teaching

  • Social aspects of dress and textiles
  • Material culture of dress
  • Research methods
  • Museum-based projects

Postgraduate Supervision – Completed 2006ff

A complete list of theses is available elsewere on this siite.

Masters

Bellamy-Haines, P. The Nelson Provincial Museum collection of women's dress. MCApSc (Supervisors: R M Laing and C A Smith) Completed: 2009. Recipient of Museums Aotearoa Award for Exhibition Excellence (2009) for exhibition based on thesis.

Current Memberships

President, New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Material (2011 ff)
Member, International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) (2009 ff)
Member, International Institute for Conservation (IIC) (2006 ff)
Full Member, New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Material (NZCCM) (2000 ff)

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Publications

Lowe, B. J., Smith, C. A., Fraser-Miller, S. J., Paterson, R. A., Daroux, F., Ngarimu-Cameron, R., … Gordon, K. C. (2017). Light-ageing characteristics of Māori textiles: Colour, strength and molecular change. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 24, 60-68. doi: 10.1016/j.culher.2016.11.012

Paterson, R. A., Lowe, B. J., Smith, C. A., Lord, J. M., & Ngarimu-Cameron, R. (2017). Polarized light microscopy: An old technique casts new light on Māori textile plants. Archaeometry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/arcm.12281

Smith, C. A., Paterson, R. A., Lowe, B. J., & Te Kanawa, R. (2016). Consolidation of black-dyed Māori textile artefacts: Evaluating the efficacy of sodium alginate. Studies in Conservation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00393630.2016.1266150

Clarke, C., & Smith, C. (2015). A gentleman's slippers. In A. Cooper, L. Paterson & A. Wanhalla (Eds.), The lives of colonial objects. (pp. 224-230). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Lord, J., Paterson, R., Smith, C., Lowe, B., & Ngarimu-Cameron, R. (2015). Old is new: Using polarised light microscopy to identify plant fibres in Māori textile artefacts. Proceedings of the 27th National Conference on Microscopy. Retrieved from http://microscopy2015.otago.ac.nz/index.html

Chapter in Book - Research

Clarke, C., & Smith, C. (2015). A gentleman's slippers. In A. Cooper, L. Paterson & A. Wanhalla (Eds.), The lives of colonial objects. (pp. 224-230). Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago University Press.

Smith, C., & Scott, M. (2009). Ethics and practice: Australian and New Zealand conservation contexts. In A. Richmond & A. Bracker (Eds.), Conservation: Principles, dilemmas and uncomfortable truths. (pp. 184-196). Amsterdam: Butterworth Heinemann.

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Journal - Research Article

Lowe, B. J., Smith, C. A., Fraser-Miller, S. J., Paterson, R. A., Daroux, F., Ngarimu-Cameron, R., … Gordon, K. C. (2017). Light-ageing characteristics of Māori textiles: Colour, strength and molecular change. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 24, 60-68. doi: 10.1016/j.culher.2016.11.012

Paterson, R. A., Lowe, B. J., Smith, C. A., Lord, J. M., & Ngarimu-Cameron, R. (2017). Polarized light microscopy: An old technique casts new light on Māori textile plants. Archaeometry. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/arcm.12281

Smith, C. A., Paterson, R. A., Lowe, B. J., & Te Kanawa, R. (2016). Consolidation of black-dyed Māori textile artefacts: Evaluating the efficacy of sodium alginate. Studies in Conservation. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00393630.2016.1266150

Smith, C., Lowe, B., Blair, K., Carr, D., & McNaughton, A. (2013). Identification of historical plant material using micro-computed tomography. Studies in Conservation, 58(3), 256-268. doi: 10.1179/2047058412Y.0000000043

Smith, C., & Laing, R. (2011). What's in a name? The practice and politics of classifying Māori textiles. Textile History, 42(2), 220-238. doi: 10.1179/174329511x13123634653947

Lord, J. M., McCallum, R. E., Smith, C. A., & Carr, D. J. (2010). Use and identification of tikumu (Celmisia species, Asteraceae) in artifacts of New Zealand origin. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 49, 69-82.

Carr, D., Cruthers, N., Smith, C., & Myers, T. (2008). Identification of selected vegetable textile fibres. Reviews in Conservation, 9, 75-87.

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Journal - Professional & Other Non-Research Articles

Smith, C. (2006). IIC Congress 2006, Munich: The object in context: Crossing conservation boundaries [Conference review]. New Zealand Professional Conservators Group Newsletter, (December), 5-6.

Smith, C. (2005). The New Zealand Costume and Textile Section Symposium 2005: Southern Threads: Connecting dress, cloth and culture [Review]. Costume Australia, 18, 2.

Malthus, J., & Smith, C. (2005). New Zealand Costume and Textile Section Symposium 2005: Southern Threads: Connecting dress, cloth and culture [Review]. Context, 7(July-October), 3-4.

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Lowe, B., Smith, C. A., Gordon, K. C., Hanton, L. R., Ford, B., Korsten, A., Fraser, S. J., & Lomax, B. A. (2014). Relating colour, chemical and physical characteristics of artificially light-aged New Zealand plant fibres. In J. Bridgland (Ed.), Proceedings of the ICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference. 1606. Paris, France: International Council of Museums. [Full Paper]

Smith, C. A., Lowe, B. J., & McNoughton, A. (2014). Micro-computed tomography for plant identification in artefacts. In J. Bridgland (Ed.), Proceedings of the ICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference. 1606. Paris, France: International Council of Museums. [Full Paper]

Scott, M., & Smith, C. (2011). Re-examining conservation precepts: Implications for conservation education. In J. Bridgland (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th Triennial Conference of International Council of Museums International Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC): Cultural Heritage/Cultural Identity: The Role of Conservation. [CD-ROM] Portugal: Critério. [Full Paper]

Smith, C., Te Kanawa, K., & White, M. (2011). The preservation of Māori textiles: Collaboration, research and cultural meaning. In J. Bridgland (Ed.), Proceedings of the 16th Triennial Conference of International Council of Museums International Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC): Cultural Heritage/Cultural Identity: The Role of Conservation. [CD-ROM] Portugal: Critério. [Full Paper]

Haines-Bellamy, P. M., Laing, R. M., & Smith, C. A. (2009). Unpicking the past: Dress artefacts held by The Nelson Provincial Museum. In C. A. Wilson & R. M. Laing (Eds.), Proceedings of the Combined (NZ and AUS) Conference of The Textile Institute: Natural Fibres in Australasia. [CD-ROM], (pp. 138-144). Dunedin, New Zealand: The Textile Institute (NZ). [Full Paper]

Smith, C., & Winkelbauer, H. (2006). Conservation of a Māori eel trap: Practical and ethical issues. In D. Saunders, J. H. Townsend & S. Woodcock (Eds.), The Object in Context: Crossing Conservation Boundaries. Proceedings of the Contributions to the Munich Congress. (pp. 128-132). London: The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. [Full Paper]

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Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Lord, J., Paterson, R., Smith, C., Lowe, B., & Ngarimu-Cameron, R. (2015). Old is new: Using polarised light microscopy to identify plant fibres in Māori textile artefacts. Proceedings of the 27th National Conference on Microscopy. Retrieved from http://microscopy2015.otago.ac.nz/index.html

Smith, C. A. (2011). The Clothing and Textile Sciences Teaching Collection: Dress artefacts as a teaching resource. In L. A. Dunn, C. D. Thomson & C. A. Wilson (Eds.), Proceedings of the Consumer and Applied Sciences Centenary Conference: Bringing it Home: Remembering the past and feeding the future. (pp. 25). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago. [Abstract]

Smith, C. A. (2009). Plant material used in New Zealand archaeological textiles. In C. A. Wilson & R. M. Laing (Eds.), Proceedings of the Combined (NZ and AUS) Conference of The Textile Institute: Natural Fibres in Australasia: Book of abstracts. (pp. 34). Dunedin, New Zealand: The Textile Institute (NZ). [Abstract]

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Conference Contribution - Poster Presentation (not in published proceedings)

Smith, C. A., Laing, R. M., & Walter, R. (2014, May). Pre-European Māori textiles from South Island New Zealand. Poster session presented at the North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles (NESAT XII), Hallstatt, Austria.

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Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Haig, N., Smith, C., & Tyler, L. (2015, May). Collections and research. Panel discussion at the Museums Aotearoa Annual Conference: Communicating Culture, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Smith, C. (2013, February). Colonisation in classification: Names for Māori textiles. Verbal presentation at the Inaugural Conference of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Smith, C. (2011, June). Understanding pre-contact Māori textiles: A survey of research methods. Verbal presentation at the Māori & Pacific Textile Symposium, Wellington, New Zealand.

Smith, C. (2010, November). Intangible heritage in New Zealand museums: What role for conservation? Verbal presentation at the 22nd General Conference and the 25th General Assembly of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), Shanghai, China.

Smith, C. (2010, June). Back from the brink: Survival of dress in the museum. Verbal presentation at the 9th Annual Symposium of the Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand: Hanging by a Thread, Wellington, New Zealand.

Smith, C. (2008, March). On the periphery: Collections conservation in New Zealand. Verbal presentation at the 7th Annual Symposium of the New Zealand Costume and Textile Section of the Auckland Museum Institue, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Smith, C. (2008, October). The examination of archaeological textiles. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Materials Annual Conference, Alexandra, New Zealand.

Smith, C. (2008, October). What is a conservator? Cultural materials conservation in Aotearoa New Zealand. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Material (NZCCM) Conference, Alexandra, New Zealand.

Smith, C., White, M., & Te Kanawa, K. (2007, June). New Zealand archaeological textiles: Examination, analysis and cultural meaning. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Archaeological Association Conference, Hanmer Springs, New Zealand.

Smith, C., & Winkelbauer, H. (2006, October). Conservation of a Māori eel trap: Ethical and technical issues. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Professional Conservators Group Annual Conference, Gisborne, New Zealand.

Smith, C., Wild, E., & Hart, A. (2005, March). Especially for you: The conservation of Charlene Robinson's wedding dress. Verbal presentation at the Fourth Annual Symposium of the New Zealand Costume and Textile Section of the Auckland Museum Institute, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Smith, C., Carr, D., & Winkelbauer, H. (2005, October). A collaborative project between Clothing and Textile Sciences (University of Otago) and Ngāi Tahu. Verbal presentation at the New Zealand Professional Conservators Group Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Artefact/Object/Craftwork

Smith, C., Winkelbauer, H., & Frewen, N. (2001). Conservation, restoration and display of eight moa. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Museum.

Smith, C. (2000). Canoe prow, Papua New Guinea. Melbourne, Australia: Museum Victoria.

Smith, C. (2000). Canoe, Aua Island. Melbourne, Australia: Museum Victoria.

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Other Research Output

Smith, C. (2000). Otago Museum conservation guidelines for exhibition design Southern Lands, Southern People. Dunedin, New Zealand: Otago Museum. [Policy Document].

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Awarded Doctoral Degree

Smith, C. A. (2014). Pre-European Māori textiles from South Island New Zealand (PhD). University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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