Art Conservation Resurgence Project

Phase I
Supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust

This first phase of the Art Conservation Resurgence Project is a thirty month long project, initiated in February 2012. Through a collaborative approach it aims to create a seed base of reference documents that would help address outstanding issues in conservation of art in the Indian context and will serve the needs of practicing conservators, custodian of cultural heritage, cultural institutions, scholars, planners and policy makers.

The basic components of this project are:
i. Material and Technology studies
ii. Damage mapping & diagnostics
iii. Pilot Research projects
iv. Conservation-Restoration
v. Conservation Education
vi. Sharing of Information

In the first phase the project activities will revolve around the following subjects:
• Oil Paintings
• Miniatures
• Manuscripts
• Stone and Terracotta
• Textiles
• Ceramic and Glass
• Metal
• Photographs
• Paintings on Cloth
• Polychrome wood
• Collection Maintenance
Systems and protocols in a conservation-restoration work environment

Partners

This project is a world wide collective effort. Many institutions have formally committed to share information and collaborate on various activities. A larger number of institutions and well meaning individuals have been informally contributing to the project. The project acknowledges everyone for their support and willingness to share their knowledge base and experience. To be a part of this growing contributing group click on 'Partner with us'. We need your help and advice. 

Primary target areas are those where there are ‘collaborating’ institutions that have very important collections that coincide with the types of objects, that we have selected for this project. Concentrated efforts will be made to improve the collection management and conservation expertise in Institutions in these States. It will provide us assessable achievements as actual collections will be addressed.

View Partners in a larger map For example : Tamil Nadu has exquisite collections of bronzes and any project development of conservation of bronzes that is associated with a collection, say of the Government Museum, Chennai, will have national ramifications. Similarly, Kadatas, a particular style of accordion shaped book making is peculiar to Karnataka. Basgo Monastery in Ladhak, J&K has agreed to allow its sacred Himalayan art collection to be conserved and any guidelines for conservation developed for the Tawang Monastery (the biggest Buddhist Monastery in Asia) in Arunachal Pradesh will impact hundreds of monasteries in the region. Gujarat is the State for initiating textile conservation collaborations with, as the world’s attention is focused on the textile collections there.

ACRP REACH

CSMVS Museum Art Conservation Centre

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The CSMVS Museum Art Conservation Centre (CSMVS MACC) is housed in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) Mumbai, formerly known as The Prince of Wales Museum of Western India. It is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established in 1909, under an act of legislation – Prince of Wales Museum Act (Act III of 1909) of the then Government of Bombay and is governed by a Board of Trustees. The museum raises funds for its cultural, conservation and educational activities through public support and from the revenue it generates from ticket sales, exhibitions and cultural events on its premises.

CSMVS is a museum of national importance, with a collection of 70,000 historic and artistic works of various materials and technologies. The CSMVS MACC was started to address the conservation and collection needs of CSMVS and other institutions.
The CSMVS MACC is gradually being acknowledged nationwide as an upcoming premier facility for heritage conservation, research and training.

Mission Statement of the CSMVS MACC

CSMVS Museum Art Conservation Centre (MACC), Mumbai, aims to spearhead heritage conservation-restoration, research & development and training activities in India as well as in other nations in the region, by encouraging collaborations and freely sharing its expertise.

CSMVS MACC is spread over an area of 4000 sq.ft. in the Kalaghoda Art District of Mumbai. The facility is climate controlled and has round the clock CCTV surveillance. The facility is manned by dedicated art conservator-restorers and support teams who are trained to conserve art objects of various materials and technologies. Mr. Anupam Sah, an art conservation-restoration strategist, practitioner and educator, heads the art conservation, research and training units and the centre is being developed under his direction, in consultation with the CSMVS Board of Trustees, Director General Mr. Sabyasachi Mukherjee and the curatorial staff.

By virtue of its work and its dissemination practices, the centre is gradually making its presence felt across India and along foreign shores.


MACC presently is equipped with the following units

  • Conservation-Restoration Unit
  • Research and Development Unit
  • Technical Analysis Unit
  • Documentation Unit
  • Education and Training Unit
  • Projects Unit
  • Exhibitions and Events Support Unit

MACC raises funds for its activities through its various projects. Various private individuals and institutions have come forward to adopt some of the museum collection for conservation. Few of our projects have been; Conservation restoration treatment of the 16th Century illustrated manuscript Anvar-i-Suhayli created at Emperor Akbar\'s Atelier under conservation restoration treatment is being supported by Bank of America. The Art Conservation Resurgence Project is being supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust.


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Conservation-Restoration Unit

Once the causes of deterioration of a collection have been identified, a treatment proposal is prepared which lays out both Preventive as well as Remedial Conservation treatment plans. Once these treatment plans are discussed for their efficacy, they are implemented in the conservation-restoration unit.

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Documentation Unit

The Documentation unit meticulously records all the work activities of the centre. It also prepares the graphic condition reports, maintains treatment records, and digitizes the information that is generated on a daily basis. The first step towards ensuring the safety of art collections is the preparation of a conservation status report or the condition report. It is this document that by inspection of the collection, identification of the potential risks and recognition of objective signs of damage, helps to propose a methodology for conservation and prepare an estimate of conservation costs.

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Technical Analysis Unit

These units provide technical support to the CSMVS as well as to various other institutions. Examination techniques like UV fluorescence, Microscopy, Spectroscopy, X-Rays are employed here to assist in diagnosis of the deterioration of artworks.

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Research & Development Unit

Advanced research (for which it is not sustainable presently for MACC to own such facilities or resources) are conducted in collaboration with other specialized institutions. CSMVS MACC invites scientists, academicians, and institutions to collaborate on art conservation technical studies, research and development projects.

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Education & Training Unit

CSMVS MACC imparts training in conservation-restoration and related fields.

  • In affiliation with the University of Mumbai, the CSMVS conducts a Post Graduate Diploma in Museology and Conservation.
  • It assists in the MA Ancient Indian Culture program at St.Xavier’s College, Autonomous.
  • In collaboration with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Heritage Conservation Society (MMR- HCS) and Sir J.J. College of Architecture, the CSMVS, has jointly initiated a Diploma course in Built Heritage Studies and Conservation (BHSC), a programme that attracts in-service personnel, engineers, conservators and also others from Government organizations.

The centre also regularly conducts workshops, training programmes, conferences and lectures.

Exhibitions and Events Support Unit

This unit provides technical support for CSMVS during loans, exhibitions, art acquisition evaluations, upgradation of museum facilities, climate monitoring, seminars, and conferences. This unit works in close tandem with the various technical divisions of the CSMVS.


Projects Unit

This unit is completely involved with initiation of projects, project coordination and collaboration with various institutions and organizations. This unit also helps generate funds for activities and research involved for the projects and its components.


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ART CONSERVATION RESURGENCE PROJECT