Spring Morning in the Han Palace (detail), Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign, 1672, twelve-panel kuancai lacquer screen; black lacquer on wood core with carved and pigment and gold filled (kuancai) decoration, Gift of Charles Lang Freer, Freer Gallery of Art, F1906.42a–l
Sneak Peek—Under the Microscope: Conserving a Chinese Lacquer Screen
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution
Online lecture, November 8, 12-12:40pm
Constructed in 1672 as a gift for Master Kong, a direct descendant of Confucius, the twelve-panel Chinese lacquer screen Spring Morning in the Han Palace had a long life before being purchased by Charles Lang Freer in 1906 and joining the National Museum of Asian Art’s collections. In this talk, objects conservator Ellen Chase will discuss various aspects of the screen as well as a recently completed, multiyear conservation project partially funded through a grant from the Bank of America Art Conservation Project. Examination and collaboration by conservators, scientists, and curators revealed multiple ways in which the vulnerabilities and subsequent degradation of the screen are directly related to how it was made and how it was displayed and stored by Freer and its previous owners. The screen will be the subject of an upcoming exhibition in July 2023.
Ellen Chase is objects conservator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art. She received her MA in art history and conservation from New York University. Prior to joining the museum in 1999, she worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a fellow at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the British Museum.
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