For Students

Conservation Lab Services


How to request conservation and mounting services

The Robert B. Jacobs Asian Art Conservation Laboratory at UMMA accepts commissions from institutions and individuals for the conservation and mounting or remounting of East Asian paintings and art works on paper, with the exception of photographs.

After inspecting a work of art first-hand, the Conservator will discuss possible treatments with the client, clearly and candidly explaining the charges and the possible benefits and drawbacks of each. Our overarching policy is to respect the age and style of the original painting, print, or drawing, and to perform repairs that will extend the life of the work, not to make it look new. No treatment is undertaken without the explicit written approval of the owner of the artwork; and all treatments are reversible.

When treatment includes a new silk mounting, the Conservator works closely with the owner of the artwork and the Senior Curator of Asian Art to determine the choice of colors and patterns. If necessary, mounting silks may be special ordered from Japan or China.

Laboratory charges are determined by the hours of labor needed and, for mountings, by the cost of materials. Treatment commences when a deposit has been received for 50% of the total estimate. Clients should be aware that the treatment process may require six months to a year, as paintings on silk or works on paper must be stretched and dried very slowly to prevent warping in the future.

Potential clients are urged to contact the Conservation Lab directly by telephone or email to set up an appointment for the Conservator to inspect the artwork. For works of art too large to carry by hand, or for clients who are beyond driving distance, please email or write to the lab explaining your needs and enclose good quality jpegs or photographs of the work: that will allow the Conservator to provide a preliminary analysis of the work needed, which may need to be revised upon first-hand examination. Clients are responsible for the costs of transporting works to and from the laboratory, as well as insurance costs during transport. Clients must also provide an estimate of the value of the work upon consignment to the Museum. Neither the Conservator nor the Senior Curator of Asian Art may appraise the market value of an artwork.

Contacting the Asian Conservation Laboratory at UMMA

Elizabeth Bahls, Administrative Assistant, Collections and Exhibitions
Asian Conservation Laboratory
University of Michigan Museum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1354

Telephone: 734.647.0527