Precautionary Preservation And Maintenance
NTMoFA has been collecting important artworks related to the development of Taiwan’s art history and significant issues from different eras since the museum opened its doors on 1988, with the objective of preserving important art assets in Taiwan. The warm and humid subtropical weather of Taiwan makes it challenging to preserve organic materials, in order to provide the art collections a long term preservation and conservation environment, the museum constructing collection storage, and constantly provide conservation treatment as well as restoration treatment if needed.
The temperature, humidity, and light controls in NTMoFA’s collection storeroom are designed in accordance to the classification of the museum’s collected artworks and also according to the standards set by international organizations, such as The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (IIC), The International Council of Museums (ICOM), and The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM). Temperature, humidity, and light sensitivity are controlled based on the requirements demanded by each artwork, with comprehensive air conditioning and lighting construction organized accordingly.
After an artwork has been confirmed by the collection committee to become a part of the NTMoFA collection, it is then given a permanent serial number with its basic information entered in the collection databank. The artwork then becomes a part of the NTMoFA collection and is regarded as a valuable asset of the museum. It will then be stored in a temporary space in the storeroom to be cleaned, inspected, and stored by collection conservation specialists. In addition to storing or lending out the collected artworks, collection conservation is also an important function of the art museum, with the task deemed as a mission that is responsible for passing on the artworks to the future generations.
The restoration process of an artwork is conducted based on the materials used and the way it was produced, such as oil painting, Asian painting, and paper-based artworks, requiring restoration specialists of different specific backgrounds and skill sets. However, generally speaking, the fundamental first step in restoring an artwork is to fully understand its creative background, materials used, and conservation conditions of the specific artwork. Scientific instruments, including infrared light, ultraviolet light, X-ray and component analysis, are then used to evaluate and design an individualized restoration plan for the piece. Restoration specialists must be able to apply the skills they have acquired with their experiences for different situations encountered with each artwork and to bring together the artwork’s cultural significance with professional knowledge, which is key as to not infringe on the principles and ethics of art restoration. Art collecting is faced with constant challenges brought on by time and the introduction of new medium and art form, extending the tasks with conservation from traditional media to artworks based on digital technology. Conservation methods and management mechanisms are researched and developed in order to overcome the test of time, and when the artworks are exhibited in the future, the goal is to be able to comprehensively present each artwork’s cultural history based on the time of its creation.
Collection Repair Plan And Process
Materials used for Collection Conservation
The frames, protective cases, cushions, and shockproof implementations used for artwork conservation must be made with stable materials without volatile organic compounds, chlorides, sulfides, lignin, plasticizing agents, which might damage the collected artworks. The “acid-free” materials used as protective agents can be classified into two types, un-buffered (or non-buffered) and buffered which is alkaline based. The acid-free cardboards containing alkaline buffering agents can protect the artworks by neutralizing the acidity contained in the papers used to create the artworks or any acidity in the air. However, it cannot be used directly on protein-based materials that are sensitive to alkaline components, such as wool, silk textiles, silver gelatin prints, and artworks created with Prussian blue pigment.
Materials used for Conserving Paper-based Artworks
Materials used for Conserving Plastic-based Artworks
Polyvinylchloride (PVC) contains chlorine, plasticizers and the likes. As it ages, it will produce chloride, a substance that could cause damage to the artworks, and is therefore not recommended.