AIM Conservation Grants: How Can They Help?

Funded by The Pilgrim Trust, the AIM Conservation Grant Scheme and AIM Preventive Conservation Grant Scheme have been created to help small museums with the conservation of important objects in their collections and to enable them to develop a more sustainable approach to the conservation and management of collections.

There are two deadlines each year for both grants and the next closing date is 31 March 2015 followed by 30 September 2015.

If you are thinking of applying, it is always useful to know what type of work AIM has previously funded and the following case study written by Nicole Chiang, Curator at the Museum of East Asian Art helps to highlight how these grants are used by the recipients.

Museum of East Asian Art – Asian Metal Ware Conservation

The AIM conservation grant was used to conserve 29 metal objects from Japan and China in the museum’s collection.  The conservation work not only helped clean the objects and stop their deterioration, but also led to an interesting discovery…

The conservators found traces of fabric inside a small bronze bell with clapper made in China more than 4,000 years ago. Various ancient Chinese texts mention different functions of this type of bell, including calling soldiers’ attention, acting as alarms at night or being used in religious ceremonies. Due to the discovery of fabric traces, it seems that the MEAA bell might have been hung on a military banner.

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From July 2014 to January 2015, the museum organised the exhibition ‘To Be Treasured for Generations – Conservation of Chinese Metalwork’ to raise awareness of conservation work. The exhibition showcased the 14th century gilt and lacquered bronze Guanyin conserved with the AIM grant and the exhibition was visited by more than 2,300 visitors.

Currently, the above mentioned bell, another type of Chinese bell and the gilt bronze apsara  are displayed in the temporary exhibition ‘Music in China’ which runs until May 2015. Other objects are back on permanent display in the galleries.

Nicole Chiang

Curator

The Museum of East Asian Art

AIM is also running a series of ‘Stop the Rot’ collections care workshops over the next few months that are free for AIM members. You can find out more about these workshops and make bookings HERE

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