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Friday, May 30 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Textiles Session) In Consideration of the Thangka

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In examining the history of the storage, display, and conservation of Thangkas at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, one can trace a change in conservation philosophies and the growing necessity of preventive and sustainable care.
There has been a shift in storage designs from free hanging, paintings style storage, to flat drawer storage with full support. With the understanding that the paintings are not executed like stretched oil on canvas, but rather flexible fabrics painted with low binder media, overall handling of the thangkas has been significantly reduced by use of support boards for handling and display. These boards have evolved along with storage, installation, and materials concerns. Methods have shifted from stitched mounts, to pin, and currently have paused with an interchangeable magnetic system. And finally, changes in conservation approaches will be briefly touched upon.

Using the materials on hand and creating a modular mounting system that can be adapted to any current rotation reduces the need to continually purchase new materials and reduces waste at the end of any exhibition. The Thangkas are continually supported both during rotations on their magnet mounts and in storage on their horizontal shelving units. Textile components are cared for and no longer replaced when worn. Through working with the collection and institutional display needs, a routine has been developed that sustains the thankgas while at the same time reduces handling.

avatar for Denise Krieger Migdail

Denise Krieger Migdail

Conservator, Asian Art Museum
Denise Migdail has held the title of textile conservator at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco since March 2006. Working in a multidisciplinary lab, the work is largely exhibition driven: preparing textiles for display and travel. Prior to her employment at the museum, Denise worked... Read More →

Friday May 30, 2014 11:00am - 11:30am PDT
Seacliff A-B