JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 01 to 14)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 2001, Volume 40, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 01 to 14)

CONSERVATION OF CHINESE SHADOW FIGURES: INVESTIGATIONS INTO THEIR MANUFACTURE, STORAGE, AND TREATMENT

LISA KRONTHAL



NOTES

1. Other large collections of the East City type puppets are in the Museum of Folk Art, Hamburg; the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; the Volkekunde Museum, Leiden, Netherlands; the Ethnographic Museum of Sweden, Stockholm; and the Lederschaft Museum, Offenbach, Germany.

2. In her master's thesis, Mary Hirsch gives a detailed, academic survey of the history of Chinese shadow theater, referring to historic texts and play scripts. Additionally, Hirsch presents detailed distinctions between the different schools of shadow puppetry.

3. Caretakers of similar collections who have noted sticking problems include those at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the Museum of Folk Art in Hamburg, as well as various private collectors.



REFERENCES

AMNH. 1974. Shadow puppets: Conservation. Anthropology Department Archives. American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Berliner, N. Z.1986. Chinese folk art: The small skills of carving insects. Boston: Little Brown.

Broman, S.1981. Chinese shadow theater. Monograph series 15. Stockholm: Ethnographical Museum of Sweden.

Erda, B.1979. Shadow images of Asia: A selection of shadow puppets from the American Museum of Natural History. New York: Katonah Gallery.

Gettens, R. J., and G. L.Stout.1942. Painting materials: A short encyclopedia. New York: Dover.

Hirsch, M.1998. Chinese shadow theater playscripts: Two translations. M. A. thesis, University of Washington, Seattle.

Jilin, L.1988. Chinese shadow puppet plays. Beijing: Morning Glory.

Morrison, L.1986. The conservation of seal gut parkas. Conservator10:17–24.

Odegaard, N., M.Crawford, and W.Zimmt. 1997. The use of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) film for storage supports. Journal of the American Museum of Natural History36(3):249–51.

Sima, Q.1959. Shi ji (Records of the historian). Beijing: Zhonghua shuju.

Stalberg, R.1983. Berthold Laufer's China campaign. Natural History Magazine92(2):34–39.

Wimsatt, G.1936. Chinese shadow shows. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Woods, C.1997. Repairing parchment with collagen. April 16, 1997. Conservation distribution list archive: http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byform/mailinglists/cdl/1997/0513.html



FURTHER READING

Benton, P.1972. Chinese shadow plays. New York: Asia Society.

Dolby, W.1961. The origins of Chinese puppetry. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies41(1):97–120.

Hsu, T.1984. The Chinese conception of theater. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Laufer, B.1923. Oriental theatricals. Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History.

Lu, S.1968. Face painting in Chinese opera. New York: DBS.

March, B.1938. Chinese shadow figure plays and their making. Handbook 11. Detroit: Puppetry Imports.

Stalberg, R.1984. China's puppets. San Francisco: China Book.

UCLA Museum of Cultural History. 1963. Asian puppets: Wall of the world. Los Angeles: University of California.



SOURCES OF MATERIALS

Paraloid B-72

100% solids, ethyl methacrylate copolymer, manufactured by Rohm and Haas, Philadelphia, Pa. 19105 Conservation Support Systems P.O. Box 91746 Santa Barbara, Calif. 93190-1746

Paraloid F-10

40% solids in mineral thinner/Amsco fat solvent ratio 9:1. Solids composed of butyl methacrylate polymer. Conservator's Emporium 100 Standing Rock Circle Reno, Nev. 89511

Beva 371 Solution

40% solids in a solution of toluene and naphtha. Solids are composed of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (Elvax 150), cyclohexanone resin (Laropol K80), ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (A-C copolymer), phthalate ester of hydroabietyl alcohol (Cellolyn 21), and petrolatum (paraffin). Conservation Support Systems P.O. Box 91746 Santa Barbara, Calif. 93190-1746

Gelatin

Supplied in sheet form Kremer Pigments Inc. 228 Elizabeth St. New York, N.Y. 10012

Goldbeater's skin

Talas 568 Broadway, #107 New York, N.Y. 10012

Natural skin condoms

Most drugstores

Orasol dyes

Manufactured by Ciba-Geigy. Soluble in both alcohol and ketone solvents. Conservation Support Systems P.O. Box 91746 Santa Barbara, Calif. 93190-1946

Polyvinyl acetate resins

100% solids Conservation Support Systems P.O. Box 91746 Santa Barbara, Calif. 93190-1946

Sausage casings

Your neighborhood butcher

Silicone Mylar

Douglas Hanson P.O. Box 528 Hammond, Wisc. 54015 Conservators' Products Co. P.O. Box 411 Chatham, N.J. 07928

Teflon Film

Plastomer Products Coltec Industries 23 Friends Lane Newtown, Pa. 18940 Contact: Leonard Plewes.


AUTHOR INFORMATION

LISA KRONTHAL received a B.A. in art history from the University of Rochester in 1988 and an M.A. and certificate of advanced study in art conservation from the State University College at Buffalo in 1993. She pursued her graduate internship at the Brooklyn Museum of Art focusing on archaeological conservation, specifically working with ancient Egyptian collections. She began working at the American Museum of Natural History as an assistant objects conservator in 1994 and remains there as an associate conservator in the Anthropology Division, specializing in archaeological and ethnographic objects. She is a Professional Associate of AIC and currently co-chairs the conservation committee within the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC). Address: Anthropology Division, American Museum of Natural History, 79th St. at Central Park West, New York, N.Y. 10024.


Copyright 2001 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works