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Subject: Indian miniatures

Indian miniatures

From: Rebecca Cameron <rcameron>
Date: Friday, June 9, 2000
I recently attended the Institute of Paper Conservation seminar on
Toning Materials for Conservation in London. One of the speakers (a
private conservator based in London) mentioned that in her
experience collectors of Indian miniatures favoured a very
non-interventive approach to their treatment. This meant that while
a disfigured European or Far Eastern print or watercolour would
quite likely have infills and media losses toned or retouched to
restore aesthetic qualities, an Indian painting would not.

This prompted a couple of questions for me:

    *   Is this a difference in attitude to treatment that other
        people have found, whether in the outlook of collectors or
        curators? and

    *   how would damaged art works have been treated
        traditionally within India? Would works with flaking media
        (a common problem in miniatures) be retouched, perhaps by an
        artist? Would works that have been mounted onto a secondary
        support that has become damaged be remounted? I am aware of
        long standing traditions of conservation in China and Japan,
        but realise I know nothing of whether such traditions exist
        in the Indian subcontinent.

Becky Cameron
Paper Conservator
National Museums of Scotland
Chambers Street
Edinburgh EH1 1JF

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:1
                   Distributed: Monday, June 19, 2000
                        Message Id: cdl-14-1-022
Received on Friday, 9 June, 2000

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