Friday April 15, 2016
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Womens Council Hosts, “East Meets West: The Tao of Asian Art Conservation”
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Womens Council Hosts, “East Meets West: The Tao of Asian Art Conservation”

exterior of the CMA building

Cleveland, OH (April 15, 2016) On Wednesday, April 20, The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Womens Council will host “East Meets West: The Tao of Asian Art Conservation.” This is a free event, open to the public beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the museum’s Gartner Auditorium.  

Per Knutås, the museum’s Jane and Eric Nord Chief Conservator will present a lecture about the museum’s specialized Chinese art conservation program. In addition to examining the artwork and performing a wide range of conservation treatments with specialized tools, conservators of Chinese art preserve and pass on the respected tradition of the conservation method itself. 

"In Asian art, the way to do things is very, very traditional,” said Knutås. “There are ways to hold a brush that are acceptable. There are ways that are not acceptable. You are passing on that legacy of doing it the way the masters did, two or three hundred years ago."  

To uphold the tradition and essence of the conservation and restoration methods used by Chinese art conservators, in 2015 the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gave the museum a grant of $1.8 million to bring masters from Beijing and Shanghai to the museum to teach their very distinctive tradition to its current Chinese art conservator, Yi-Hsia Hsiao. Hsiao has already completed seven of the 10 years of study required to become a master, and will complete her final years of training under the guidance of the masters from China, supported by the Mellon grant. Since the grant includes fellowships for emerging conservators for up to three years, after 2019 Hsiao will be able to train aspiring Chinese art conservators from around the United States in these traditional methods in the museum’s conservation lab.

About the Cleveland Museum of Art Chinese Art Collection

From prehistory to the contemporary era, the Chinese art collection spans more than 5,000 years and encompasses a variety of art forms, including archaic bronze, jade, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, ceramic, furniture and decorative arts. The collection offers considerable breadth and depth in representing China’s artistic traditions.

The museum’s representation is especially strong in three areas: ceramics from the Han to the Qing dynasties (1st-18th centuries); Buddhist sculptures from the Northern Wei to the Ming dynasties (6th-17th centuries); and paintings from the Song to the Qing (10th-19th centuries). Not only is the sequence of chronological development well represented, but more importantly, this collection contains some of the best-known signature works that occupy a critical place in Chinese art history.

About the Womens Council

The Womens Council takes an active role in support of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Individually and collectively, our members engage with the museum by participating in educational programs, volunteering and providing financial support. Working in partnership, the Womens Council assists the museum in fulfilling its dual roles as one of the world’s most distinguished comprehensive art museums and as one of northeast Ohio’s principal civic and cultural institutions.

Centennial Celebration

One hundred years ago the Cleveland Museum of Art opened its doors to the public. In 2016 the museum invites all audiences to celebrate its 100th anniversary, honoring the past and looking ahead to the future. Program highlights include special centennial exhibitions representing the creative genius of four continents, spanning ancient to contemporary art, as well as the presentation of extraordinary individual works of art on loan from top-tier institutions all over the world, and once-in-a-lifetime events and community programs.

For more information about centennial year events, visit


Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261