Cross Training Conservation Outreach Project 2015

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The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles (QSMT), Bangkok and the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum (TAPTM), Taipei


November 16, 2015


Cross Training Conservation Outreach Project 2015

Background:   The Director of the TAPTM, Dr. Robin Ruizendaal, and staff visited the QSMT Conservation Unit in February 2015 and expressed a desire to work with the QSMT to address some textile conservation concerns with puppets in their collection with a view to exchanging skills and experiences relating to their professional concerns as fellow Asian conservation colleagues.  A paper presented at the IIC conference in Hong Kong,  2014, had presented the training, research and outreach projects of the Queen’s Museum and conservation department that had inspired the visit to the museum.  In response to this the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles has arranged for 3 conservators to spend time with our museum and staff focusing on some of these challenges and offering training for the puppet museum staff in some repair treatments and providing a treatment of a rare puppet that requires expertise.

Project Outline

At the invitation of the QSMT, the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum will be hosting a team of 2 conservation professionals, and Chief Conservator and Consultant, Julia Brennan, from the QSMT, for six days in Taipei during November 2015.  Taiyuan will be responsible for logistics and organizational details, visits to museums and the university department events, and a public event as well as refreshments, lunches and dinners and providing additional materials for the workshop training.

To complement conservation workshops and discussions that focus on the puppet museum collection, the 6 days will provide the following opportunities:

  • An introduction to the museum, the collections, types of Asian puppets, and performance styles presented by the museum director, Dr Robin Ruizendaal.
  • An introduction to Taiwanese culture, temples and local markets in the oldest part of the city where the museum is located. This is the traditional community that housed many puppet companies in the past and the temples are historically popular performance sites for puppet shows. These tours will give opportunities for eating local cuisine, shopping for traditional delicacies, visiting old teahouses and exploring the now trendy historical neighborhood.
  • A visit to the Taipei Fabric Market to source materials, cloth and silks for conservation.
  • Formal visits to the National Palace Museum Conservation Department, and the Chinese Textiles and Clothing Culture Center, Department of Textiles and Clothing, at the Fu Jen Catholic University.
  • A visit to the showroom of Sophie Hong, a Taiwanese couturier, who is working almost exclusively with mud-

dyed Chinese silks and indigo linens.

  • Julia Brennan will host a “Come & Show” event for collectors and the general public to discuss the conservation of textiles that the audience presents at the Taiyuan Foundations Nadou Theatre on Saturday the 21 November.

*The QSMT will be covering the flight, accommodation and per diem expenses for this group during their stay in Taipei, before attending the APTCCARN gathering in the south the following week.

Object Treatments

A range of puppets have been pre- selected that present both representative and exceptional challenges with textiles in the permanent collection of the TAPTM. These preselected artifacts have been reviewed by Textile Conservation Consultant, Julia Brennan, on her visit to the museum in late July 2015.  They have been selected because they present challenges and a need to an intervention, treatment or repair that is a typical example for many of the costumes in the collection, or they are exceptional and rare. [see APPENDIX for a more detailed report and images of these artifacts]