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Field Trip to The Met's Conservation Lab

Posted by catherinestergar
08 Apr 2016 03:16

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By Catherine Stergar
In March, a group of Bard Graduate Center students took a class field trip to the conservation lab for East Asian paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to learn firsthand about conservation processes and efforts in the museum setting from Jennifer Perry, the Mary and James Wallach Family Conservator of Japanese Art. The students are currently taking a course entitled “Colors in China and Japan: Objects, Cultures, and Conservation,” a seminar that is analyzing the “materiality of color in Chinese and Japanese objects.” The class is being taught by Professor Stephanie Su, an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow participating in the Cultures of Conservation initiative at Bard Graduate Center. During the tour of the lab, Jennifer Perry showed the students and Professor Su examples of paintings in the museum’s collection that are currently being treated and cleaned. She also discussed her training in the conservation of Japanese mounted paintings and the type of work she carries out in the lab.

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Brown Bag Lunch Talk: "Paper is Part of the Picture"

Posted by catherinestergar
05 Apr 2016 02:27

By Catherine Stergar
Margaret Holben Ellis, the Eugene Thaw Professor of Paper Conservation at New York University, gave a recent Brown Bag Lunch talk entitled “Paper is Part of the Picture.” Ellis, who also serves as Director of the Thaw Conservation Center at Morgan Library and Museum, has done extensive research on the history of paper-making, paper’s forms and uses over time, and its conservation. Her talk at Bard Graduate Center focused on the present-day lack of understanding about the history and varied properties of paper in the museum, conservation, and academic fields. She pointed out that we interact daily with paper but probably do not consider its unique and significant qualities. “Most of us spend considerable time looking at and interpreting written, printed, and drawn marks on paper. We mentally untangle these marks that are on the paper, but what about the paper on which the marks appear?,” asked Ellis. She continued, saying, “Surely paper is part of the picture. Just like we can decipher or read the marks, we can also read the paper, and reading paper will increase its meaning.”

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