The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and the Winterthur Museum present:

Exotic Surfaces: Chinese Export Lacquer Symposium and Workshop

October 29-30, 2015
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Winterthur, DE

SYMPOSIUM information

WORKSHOP information

This symposium and workshop are designed to explore the history, fabrication, preservation, analysis and conservation treatment of Chinese export lacquer on a wooden substrate. The first day symposium is designed for curators, conservators and those with a significant interest in the subject where lectures and study sessions will present new research on the history, characterization, deterioration and analysis of Chinese lacquer wares made for the export market.  The second day workshop is designed for conservators involved with the treatment of Asian lacquer ware and will cover current analytical techniques, consolidation, fills, cleaning, inpainting, and case studies with conservators specializing in lacquer conservation.

Participants may register for the symposium only or for both the symposium and the workshop. The first day (symposium) will be limited to 50 participants among which 20 will also attend the second day (workshop). Registration both days includes lunch.

Symposium only - October 29
Early Symposium Registration (by September 1, 2015): $140
Regular Symposium Registration (after September 1, 2015): $180

Limited to 30 participants engaged in the curation, collection care, or study of lacquer. Registration fee does not include lodging. FAIC's workshop and conference registration policies can be found here.
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Symposium plus Workshop – October 29 & 30
The workshop is now full. To inquire about the wait list, please contact

Early Symposium plus Workshop Registration (by September 1, 2015): $230
Regular Symposium plus Workshop Registration (after September 1, 2015): $270

Limited to 20 participants who are practicing conservators.  Participants will be selected based on experience, demonstrated need/relevance, geographic reach, and opportunity to disseminate information gained.  The number of participants from a single institution may be limited.  Preference will be given to AIC Professional Associate and Fellow members. Applications are due May 5, 2015 with later application considered if space is available.

The workshop is now full. To inquire about the wait list, please contact To apply for a space in the workshop, please fill out the workshop application form (below), and email the form along with a copy of your resume or CV and statement of interest addressing the acceptance criteria to
FAIC's workshop and conference registration policies can be found here.

Symposium Program

Workshop Program

  • Karina Corrigan – H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator, Asian Export Art, Peabody Essex Museum, collaborator on IMLS funded grant to Winterthur for the conservation of Chinese Export Lacquer
  • Catherine Matsen – Associate Scientist, Winterthur Museum, who has undertaken extensive analysis of Chinese export lacquer objects from Winterthur and project partner the Peabody Essex Museum. 
  • Blythe McCarthy, Senior Scientist Smithsonian, Freer Sackler Gallery, co-author, of forthcoming book The Art and Science of Chinese Lacquer
  • Silvia Miklin-Kneifacz  - Private conservator specializing in lacquer, Vienna, Austria, responsible for major treatments at Schloss Schönbrunn and Palais Esterházy as well as presentations at numerous international conferences. 
  • Maria Joao Petisca – Project Conservator for IMLS funded Chinese export lacquer project, Winterthur Museum, and PhD candidate, University of Delaware, Preservation Studies Program. Joao has a MA with a specialty in lacquer conservation from Portugal and has participated in several major treatment and research projects.
  • Michael Schilling – Senior Scientist,Getty Conservation Institute, who has been heavily involved in research with Arlen Heginbotham (Associate Conservator, J. Paul Getty Museum) to characterize Asian and European lacquers.
  • Daisy Wang – Curator of Chinese and East Asian Art, Peabody Essex Museum, co-author, of forthcoming book The Art and Science of Chinese Lacquer
  • Marianne Webb – Webb Conservation Services, Toronto, Canada, private conservator specializing in the conservation of Asian and western lacquer, polychrome sculpture, and other painted objects, as well as objects made from wood, plaster, bone, ivory and stone. Author of Lacquer: Technology and Conservation

Winterthur Staff leading/assisting with furniture/object studies and conservation demonstrations:
  • Mark Anderson – Senior Conservator, Furniture
  • Stephanie Auffret – Associate Conservator, Furniture
  • Lauren Fair – Assistant Conservator, objects
  • Josh W. Lane – Lois F. and Henry S. McNeil Curator of Furniture
  • Jennifer Mass – Senior Scientist
  • Christian Petersen - Scientist
  • Lois Olcott Price – Charles F. Hummel Director of Conservation, Project director

Travel Information

You may download a listing of accommodations compiled for the convenience of out-of-town visitors, but please note that AIC/FAIC/Winterthur in no way endorses these businesses.

This event is supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Additional funding comes from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artist Works Endowment for Professional Development, which was created by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and donations from members of the American Institute for Conservation and its friends. Courses are made possible with the assistance of many AIC members, but no AIC membership dues were used to create or present this course.

Contact: Abigail Choudhury
FAIC Development and Education Coordinator
1156 15th Street, NW, Suite 320
Washington, DC 20005

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