书法在线 发表于 2018-5-29 12:59:53

【英国专家敦煌行】乔安娜(Joanna KOSEK)演讲内容

Conservation in a changing world:Art on Paper and Silk at the British MuseumJoanna Kosek, Department of Conservation, British Museum


SLIDE 1.         
Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to be part of this conference at Renmin University.

I hope the title on the screen sounds intriguing to you. I want to cover several topics and rather a lot of material inspired by the topic of the conference.

SLIDE 2.       
I start with a brief background to the paper conservation scene today, which has to respond all the time to our constantly changing world.

After this I will focus on the care of graphic art and painting collections at the British Museum, where I have now worked for over quarter of a century!

I will then talk about the Department of Conservation at the British Museum, concentrating on my own Section of Pictorial Art Conservation, and, in particular, on Asian paintings conservation at the Hirayama Studio and the care of Chinese paintings.

Today important collections of paper are to be found in institutions everywhere and we hear that a new museum in China opens ‘nearly every day.’

On the face of it these institutions appear similar but they are not!
For a start, they are located in different climate zones and circumstances. For example, the 2004 National Library of Norway Automated Storage in the polar zone at Mo I Rana, built inside a mountain, has a natural constant temperature of 8°C and 35%RH winter and summer, and daily air exchanges through an efficient system of filters. So, it never breaks down, is cheap to run and sustainable.

The National Archives in New Delhi’s hot and humid climate built in the 1980s has high maintenance air conditioning and a crippling electricity bill.

Majestic buildings in the tropics, such as the Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata, were built in 1920s as airy structures relying on natural ventilation, but these, however, do not comply with today’s standards for security, storage or display. The same is true of a lot of traditional buildings in East Asia.
Today, there are amazing buildings under construction but only later generations will know if they are sustainable.

SLIDE 4.       
Paper, the mighty resource for transmitting the best of human achievement, is always VULNERABLE. Destruction by war, religious and the political torching of heritage plus the irresistible forces of nature conspire endlessly against paper: with fire, water, insects, mould and ‘self-destructive’ media such as iron-gall ink.

If you ever want to see natural aging of paper without the need for laboratory aging ovens, the place to go is the tropics, where you will find stack upon stack of paper ‘too brittle to touch’.

On top of all this are our richly distinctive cultures and hugely contrasting social environments.Societies organise themselves differently and care for their heritage in different ways.

SLIDE 5.       
In China and in East Asia, scroll mounting has developed over many hundreds of years to safeguard traditional scroll paintings and calligraphy. European paper production only goes back to the 13th century Spain where it arrived via the Silk Road with the Arabs, who had learned papermaking secrets from the Chinese. As with China, amazing heritage collections on paper - consisting of books, archives and graphic art - was looked after by librarians, archivists, connoisseurs or dealers, while repair and presentation were entrusted to mounters and bookbinders.

East Asian scroll mounting has a parallel in Western bookbinding, in that both difficult to master; and also, that they are both old-established and inward-looking professions, attached to old collections.

SLIDE 6.    
In contrast, conservation is a recent concept, going back to 20th century Europe and US. Paper conservation as a specialism within conservation developed properly after the Second World War and the disastrous Florence flood in 1966, when the whole Western world came to the rescue.This sense of shared responsibility for heritage has been fundamental to our modern, outward-looking conservation profession.At the same time the general attitude in the West is that heritage in museums belongs to everybody and that custodians are responsible both to their own societies and to the whole world, now and for the future.This results in a network of support and cooperation that has nothing to do with international politics.

SLIDE 7.       
Conservation as an outward looking profession is thus united by shared ideals of selfless care for heritage property. It is also based on science to study the material make-up of objects, and their deterioration and preservation.

Conservation is run by three principles of: 1. Least intervention; 2. Reversibility of treatments and 3. Accountability. It is also governed by best management practice and Codes of Professional Ethics (or Conduct), a bit like medical profession.

I have not used a map this time to show the spread of conservation organisations in the world. This is because conservation organisations (with their web access) are a universal forum for communication among professionals.They promote professional excellence and public awareness and help to advance knowledge through research, practice and standards. Some are international, some are more local but it is easy to access them through the Internet.

Even language is no longer a hindrance thanks to computer and cell-phone translations!

SLIDE 8.      
Our conservation community is not large and, like most of the heritage world, is vulnerable to changing economy, but this has taught us to work together to address common issues. For example, amongst the more interesting research initiatives in recent decade or so have been the European Union-funded projects such as:

INK-COR, to study deterioration of paper by iron gall ink. This was the most common writing and drawing medium in the West up to the beginning of the 20th c. It can corrode through and destroy documents and drawings.

PaperTreat, researching methods such as non-aqueous deacidification to combat paper acidity, in poor quality paper, mass-produced in the 20th century.

Yet another collaborative project in the UK was “Heritage smells” researching into pollutant emissions from museum objects by using ‘electronic noses’ to sample the air around books to assess their state of preservation.

Display will always be of primary issue. It has been popular to study fading and assess light exposure levels through the use of the microfading spectrometry. The original idea, was proposed by the American chemist Paul Whitmore. A high-powered beam of light is focused on a spot of a quarter of a millimetre, while simultaneously monitoring colour change. The speed of the colour change allows one to determine lightfastness. Such data facilitate object-specific risk assessments for how long it is safe to display it.

Artist’s media identification with imaging techniques using infra-red and UV light and the RTI for multispectral illumination is another area of great interest and research.

Interesting work has been done on collection storage:
(I) small-scale - using anoxic storage (that is, without oxygen in frames filled in with nitrogen or argon or, simply vacuum- packed in good quality plastic barrier films).
At the top is the expensive giant encasement of the 1507 Waldseemuller map of America at the Library of Congress;
and, lower down
(ii) large-scale –automated storage for prints and drawings in the Albertina in Vienna and low temperature storage in Mo I Rana in Norway I have already mentioned. The latter, in particular, uses energy- and cost-efficient sustainable amenities, much in vogue considering institutions have to calculate their CO2 emission footprint today.

Collections access and the programmes of digitising collections is one of the main trends with libraries and archives. In the British Museum, too, a large proportion of the Prints and Drawings Department holdings can now be accessed through our website for study anywhere in the world.The widespread availability of graphic art and archives on line has initiated a lot of new research.

Finally, there is the overriding concern with Preventive Conservation and sustainable collection management.To help with this Collection Risk Assessment and various Risk Assessment models have been proposed.

So, unlike a hundred years ago, we have a rich body of knowledge backed by evidence on environmental conditions which best suit preservation of various material types, including temperature, relative humidity, lighting, pollutant levels and insect activity and how to monitor these in storage and on display.

Connected with this are realistic standards for safe storage, treatment and use of heritage objects. International heritage paper repositories have for years relied on standards set by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and International Standards Organisation (ISO).
Standards must also be sustainable, as we have to save the PLANET and not just our heritage.

SLIDE 13.      
Industry has worked closely with us to produce high-quality storage and display products. Here are some of the best known Western suppliers who have sales representatives across the world, China included.

SLIDE 14.         
So how about the British Museum in all this?

I am proud to say that we are an especially outward-looking organisation, custodians of an immense repository of world heritage objects, and what our Directors call a museum of the world for the world. We respond positively to that changing world, although we, too, are vulnerable to economic restrictions and climate change!

The founding collection was put together by the royal physician Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753). His collection included a huge library with books and Western graphic art and Asian prints and paintings, and we have been acquiring such material ever since.The expanding collections needed a new building in the 19th century. Since 2000 we have had the famous Great Court.

In 2014 Conservation moved to our World Conservation and Exhibition Centre.The Western Art paper studio is there...

SLIDE 16.         
The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures spanning two million years of human history. Access to the collection is free.

SLIDE 17.         
Pictorial collections cover Old and Modern Masters from the West and East and exhibitions of all of them have been going on since the nineteenth century, as seen on the screen. Highlights include, above all, Chinese paintings such as the Admonitions Scroll and Dunhuang banner paintings illustrated in Mrs Qiu’s talk. Western material covers all important artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt onto Picasso and other 20th and 21st -century names.   

SLIDE 18.       
Storage of graphic art is mostly in boxes in cupboards, and we are currently planning the review of the storage of scrolls.

When not on display, collections must be available for study. Any member of the public can make an appointment in the Department of Prints and Drawings or Asia Study Rooms.Sometimes inspection of objects takes place in conservation studios, as in the Hirayama studio shown here.
SLIDE 19.         
While our curators are responsible for scholarship and exhibitions, the Department of Conservation - together with the Science Department and Collection Services -                                                                   support the curatorial departments in condition assessments, scientific investigation of objects, preventive care, conservation treatments and mounting for exhibitions and loans nationally and internationally.

Within the Conservation Group we have four sections: (1) stone, wall-paintings and mosaics; (2) ceramics, glass and metals; (3) organics and (4) pictorial art.

SLIDE 20.       
Pictorial Art consists of three teams:
Western Art on Paper
Eastern Art on Paper and Silk based in the Hirayama Studio, and
Conservation Mounting for Flat Objects

Our job in Conservation is to deliver the Museum annual plan agreed with curatorial departments.

A lot of time is needed for object condition assessments, especially for loans, collection surveys and general advice.In all this we work closely with the team of museum collection managers who coordinate necessary documentation between Conservation, the rest of the Museum and borrowing institutions.

SLIDE 22.         
In Western Art on Paper our expertise concerns Western Old and Modern masters, archives and ephemera. We also treat papyri, parchment and other related materials.

Although we see our work as primarily preventive and non-interventive, we frequently need to carry out treatments, such as repairs of torn or brittle paper, or reversing blackened lead to white pigment.

SLIDE 23.       
Consolidation of all sorts of artists’ media and types of art, from bodycolour, pastels, to modern paints, sometimes using a fine brush and sometimes fine mist with a nebuliser.

SLIDE 24.         
Sticky tape removal is a very frequent problem. This is a Picasso drawing, in highly-fugitive dyes which were greatly endangered by the solvents needed to remove sticky tape. This was achieved with a suction device and a lot of patience!

SLIDE 25.      
With a collection of over 3 million items there are plenty of objects disfigured by stains and general browning; which we wash and sometimes even bleach, nowadays with a bank of lights as shown on the screen.

SLIDE 26.         
We have an expert papyri conservator.
She rescues precious inscriptions from frail and crumbly fragments in the Egyptian collections,

or even from an excavation.
Papyri have to be removed from old backings, flattened and fragments joined together, before mounting between panes of glass, to allow decipherment.

SLIDE 28.         
Our latest projects include treatment of Albrecht Durer’s Triumphal Arch 3 x 3,5m 1518 print, the most ambitious print-making achievement in the West.
This huge-scale operation involved removing old backing and adhesive, washing and repairing the individual sheets with paper pulp.

SLIDE 29.    
And currently we are about to start on Michelangelo’s cartoon Epifania.
Another great team operation still in the investigation and planning stage.We have the opportunity to study Michelangelo’s drawing technique up-close.

There have been several fascinating projects to identify drawing media and artists’ working practice, such as early Dürer drawings shown here

or Italian Renaissance and Leonardo da Vinci drawings. Under visible light you can see the ink drawing, but in raking light you can see the under-drawing made with a stylus. Using infrared reflectography we are able to penetrate through the ink drawing to see a preliminary sketch made with lead point.

We are especially pleased with the investigation into Italian Renaissance drawing practice and the technique of metal point and our publications have become a standard reference.

On the screen I have assembled some publications from our Paper Section. These include contributions by the mounting and the Hirayama Studio teams, and I will introduce these teams next.

SLIDE 32.         
With such a vast and significant graphic art collection the Museum needs its team of dedicated conservation mounters. Mounting in sunk mounts (or passepartout) of good quality mount board, seen here, was, in fact, developed in the British Museum in the 1850s.

It has also been employed for two-dimensional Asian art.

In the Museum this successful mounting system has continued up to the present day and has also been adopted in institutions all over the world.We have explained it in the British Museum manual shown on the screen.

SLIDE 33.         
The Hirayama Studio, which opened in 1994, is the pride and joy of our Department.
It is a specialist facility for the conservation of Asian paintings in a beautiful space equipped with tatami mats, low benches and high, lacquer tables and, karibari and wooden boards for drying paintings. It provides traditional facilities for Chinese, Japanese and Korean scroll mounting.

It is also ideal for conserving Indian and Islamic paintings. For example, certain Indian scrolls require the full length of the studio if they are to be unrolled.

It is truly appropriate that the studio should bear the name of Professor Ikuo Hirayama, for it was he who understood the pressing need for specialist scroll mounting outside of East Asia and donated the necessary funding.

I need to explain that most western collections of East and South Asian paintings date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when scroll-mounting expertise was virtually inaccessible in Europe. It was only in the 1970s that the British Museum gradually built up its specialist facility for Chinese and Japanese scroll-mounting when the curator Roderick Whitfield brought the first scroll mounter trained in Japan to join our staff, as well as

Mrs Qiu, the Chinese Master who had trained in Shanghai Museum and is highly popular with Chinese and international media. It is Mrs Qiu who has re-mounted a large number of important Chinese paintings including Dunhuang banners and become a generous teacher.

At present Mrs Qiu has two assistants. We also employ a Japanese scrollmounter and her assistant and a Korean paintings expert; all of whom share a sense of unique mission.

We conserve paintings, prints and calligraphy from East, South and Southeast Asia as well as the Middle East, and we always make every effort to research and use traditional materials and techniques, while we also have the support of our scientists and curators and apply the best practice in western conservation.

We rely on the same stocks of specialist papers, silks and tools as scroll mounters in China. One difference is that we do not use the traditional flour paste. Instead we cook gluten free wheat starch, because our scientists insisted it has better reversibility properties.
SLIDE 36.       
The reputation of the Hirayama studio for expertise in scroll-mounting results in many specialist enquiries and requests for training. We follow master-to-apprentice training in scroll-mounting and we rely on external funding to support committed students. For example, Carole Weiss underwent basic training by Mrs Qiu for one year to work as her assistant and has fortunately has just completed a three-month training in Shanghai Museum generously supported by the Fu Shu Qun Foundation.

SLIDE 37.         
On a day-to-day basis we provide the work required for exhibitions, loans and safe storage. Our greatest recent project was the refurbishment of the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery opened by Her Majesty the Queen last November. As Mrs Qiu was then in China, Carol, her student, had to represent her work to the Queen herself!

We provide full remounting;
SLIDE 38.   
Remedial conservation;
We offer guidance and advice about object safe handling and give regular training to museum staff and colleagues from other UK institutions.

SLIDE 39.       
Interventive treatments are always discussed and agreed with curators in advance and the programme is driven by the Museum loans and exhibition schedule, as explained.
These illustrate some of the Chinese items awaiting work.

I will now talk of a couple of examples of current collaborative work carried out in the studio on Chinese and Japanese paintings.

Thanks to generous private funding we brought over three experienced mounters from the Shanghai Museum to work alongside Mr Qiu and her assistants on the crucial stages in remounting large-format paintings. This teamwork of experts was very rewarding, and amazing to participate in by assistants and students. We hope more opportunities like this will be possible in the future.

On the Japanese side – for the last eleven years - we have been fortunate to receive Sumitomo Foundation funding to conserve important Japanese paintings in the Museum collection. This has allowed us to work with the Association for Conservation of National Treasure in Japan to complete treatment and to showcase scroll-mounters’ craft.

Last month we lined this huge paper copy of a mural in Nara. We used this and similar events for education, to publicise the mounters’ skill and the rich cultures they maintain.

Indeed, Mrs Qiu and her colleagues regularly give demonstrations to groups of students and are quite inundated by the media:
Television, Radio and Press

For those outside, the Hirayama studio represents in miniature an East- and South-Asian world and it attracts constant attention from scholars, museum specialists and even politicians and media people, as well as the eager-to-learn general public.

At present, including our students, we represent seven nationalities and share understanding of and respect for all cultures.The Hirayama Studio embodies the British Museum mission.
We look after our unique heritage and do our best to affect our changing world for the better.

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