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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
012. (Paintings) A Study on the Design to store Asian Painting Scrolls

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The hanging scroll is an unique form of East Asian painting. The elegant art is composed of not only the great painting but also the mounting structure comprised of laminations of textile and paper. Meanwhile the scroll keeps the entire structure at minimum volume for easily transport and storage. Traditionally these hanging scrolls are rolled on the roller rod while in storage, which will lead to cockling after extensive time in storage. For several years, East Asian painting conservators have tried to solve the problem of cockling by increasing the diameter of the scroll when rolled. In order to increase the diameter, several materials and forms are used to reduce the cockling currently. The following are the different types of rollers to preserve East Asian paintings: Polyester Roller , Zotefoam Roller, Acrylic Tube Roller and Paulownia Roller Clamp. There are advantages and disadvantages among all these four types of rollers. The Polyester Roller is easy to manufacture, but too weak structurally to protect the artefact even with added support and cushion inside. Therefore, using the Polyester Roller can cause damage and deformity while handling. The Zotefoam Roller provides better structural integrity, but still cannot be manufactured (by hand or by machine) in a way that fully encloses the rod of the scroll. The Acrylic Tube Roller cannot be made by hand, so a machine must cut through a hard, cylindrical piece of plastic making manufacturing unpredictable and difficult. Even worse, because acrylic is not very pliable, after it is cut, the tube naturally retains its cylindrical shape (as in it wants to fold close) thereby making safely inserting the painting scroll into this device difficult. Paulownia wood Futomaki seems to have the best design to use and manufacture, but provides the worst archival quality among all these options because of the natural acidity of the wood itself. This article serves to provide a solution to uncover the best design and materials used to protect East Asian paintings through conservation science in the hope that after significant amount of time in storage, the scrolls won't experience the problem of cockling. Several parameters need to be considered. First, a perfect roundness on section of the roller plays an important role, otherwise the painting will become wavy after a long time. In addition, enough structural support from the roller structure is necessary to protect the painting from any dents while a person handles the scroll. Lastly, even the gap created at the entry point of the roller should be seriously considered and attended to because a gap that is positioned facing up may cause the part of the painting (that is even slightly exposed) to distort due to gravity. Through accelerated aging, we can choose the best shape to best fit the East Asian painting. Passing the Photo Activity Test will tell us if the material of the roller meets the criteria for archival quality.

avatar for Jun Yin Hsiao

Jun Yin Hsiao

Conservator, JC Cultural and Creative Service Co., Ltd.
I am a private conservator working on the conservation treatment of book and paper, also provides collection care service to museums in Taiwan. After long years work, I find that proper housing can help museums better preserve their collections with limited budget compared to conservation... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Paintings