Collections care and conservation work at the Penn Museum is ongoing and overseen by the Museum’s Conservation Department. As resources become available, the conditions in which our collections are kept are continually upgraded.
For example, before moving the Asian collections into the Mainwaring Wing in 2002, the Museum commissioned a condition survey of its paper-based materials by conservators from the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) located in Philadelphia.
Although the Museum’s Conservation Department is responsible for all objects in our collections, we regularly consult CCAHA for information on and treatment of paper-based materials. Based on their recommendations, and with funding from the Carpenter Foundation, we undertook a rehousing project for these vulnerable items. Led by Conservator Julie Lawson and aided by a number of interns, this project involved constructing archival quality folders, study mats, and scroll holders for individual items, and then replacing the previous acidic and damaging storage media. As a result, this collection has been preserved and is newly accessible for future scholars.
Photo caption: Interns Wendy Davenport and Allison Richards prepare Japanese scrolls for re-housing. Photo by Lynn Grant.