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Wednesday, May 31 • 2:30pm - 2:55pm
(Treatment: Going Big) When what went up must come down: Triage treatment and disassembly of two 15th century Chinese mud plaster murals

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In the spring of 2016 two monumental, mud plaster murals (~20ft. x 30ft.) at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology underwent stabilization treatment and deinstallation. During the early twentieth century, each mural had been cut away from the walls of a Buddhist temple in Central China and removed to art dealer C.T. Loo's Paris atelier for mounting and restoration. The panels were subsequently purchased by the Penn Museum and installed in the Rotunda gallery in the late 1920's. After approximately 90 years on view, the murals displayed a range of condition issues including friable and powdering substrate, bulging and delaminating surface, as well as a heavy layer of dirt and grime over a thick, white shellac coating. Prompted by the impending demolition and construction at a site immediately adjacent to the museum, conservators were allotted 6 months to plan and complete this daunting project. The goal of this paper is two-fold: First, to present the dynamic inter- and intra- disciplinary collaboration by Penn Museum conservators to design the treatment methodology, including collaboration across specialties (objects, painted surfaces, and architecture) as well as with allied museum professionals (registrars, collections managers, and riggers); and second, to present as a case study the demanding, in-situ, triage treatment and dismantling of two monumental, unique museum artifacts. Specifically, we will describe the treatment process of gel cleaning, consolidation, and facing used to stabilize the surface, as well as the rigging and packing methodology employed to prepare the panels for movement to offsite storage.

avatar for Madeleine Neiman

Madeleine Neiman

Project Conservator, Penn Museum
Madeleine Neiman is a graduate of the UCLA/Getty Program on the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials and is currently a project conservator at the Penn Museum. Her previous conservation work includes a fellowship Kelsey Museum of Archaeology as well as internships... Read More →

avatar for Emily Brown-[PA]

Emily Brown-[PA]

Mellon Fellow in Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Philadelphia Museum of Art
Emily Brown is a graduate of the Winterthur-University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and is currently a Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Including her previous work at the Penn Museum, Emily has completed graduate internships at the... Read More →
avatar for Lynn Grant-[PA]

Lynn Grant-[PA]

Head Conservator, Penn Museum
Lynn Grant joined The University of Pennsylvania Museum's Conservation Laboratory in 1988 as conservator for loans and Traveling Exhibits and has been Head Conservator at the Penn Museum since 2008. She received her degree in Archaeological Conservation from the Institute of Archaeology... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 2:30pm - 2:55pm
Crystal Ballroom A Lobby Level, West Tower

Attendees (109)