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Grant number: PG-252938-17

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Museum of Chinese in the Americas (New York, NY 10013-3601)
Yue Ma (Project Director: May 2016 to present)

Condition Reporting and Rehousing the Paper Sculpture Collection at the Museum of Chinese in America

Hiring of an object conservator and the purchase of preservation supplies to support the rehousing of 175 paper sculptures created by passengers of the Golden Venture ship during their detention by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service between 1993 and 1997. Using recycled and found materials, the sculptures range in size from a few inches to a 4-foot-long replica of the Golden Venture. The conservation consultant will create detailed condition reports for each object and train museum staff to construct custom archival boxes and supports for each sculpture.

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) requests $6,000 to commission Lauren Paige Isaacs, an objects conservation specialist, to evaluate and rehouse the museum’s collection of 175 paper sculptures. This project would be a follow-up to the recommendations made by Tara D. Kennedy in her 2012 Conservation Assessment. The sculptures belong to MOCA’s Fly to Freedom collection, which explores the circumstances and hardships faced by a group of undocumented Chinese immigrants that were detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Services after their ship ran aground at Rockaway Beach in Queens, NY in 1993. In 2018 - 25 years after the refugees’ arrival - the museum plans to display these sculptures in a show that will examine the current state of immigration in America. It is imperative that we are able to properly house these pieces to retard their deterioration as well as evaluate them for any damage they may have sustained while being housed in inadequate containers.

Project fields:
Arts, General; Asian American Studies

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018