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Funding partners

Getty Foundation logo

The successful realisation of the Mazarin Chest Project has been critically dependent on external funding and a network of formal and informal partnerships with universities and other specialist institutions. The V&A is greatly indebted to the Getty Foundation, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, which in October 2004 announced an award of £84,000 for the period December 2004 - November 2007 under its Conservation Treatment Grants Programme. In 2009 the Getty Foundation provided further funds enabling the V&A to host an international conference, Crossing Borders: The Conservation, Science and Material Culture of East Asian Lacquer, 30-31 October 2009, and the publication of the conference proceedings in English and Japanese (East Asian Lacquer: Material Culture, Science and Conservation, Archetype Publications, 2011).

マザラン・チェスト・プロジェクトの成功は、大学や他の専門機関との公式、非公式の連携関係はもとより、外部からの資金協力に大きく負っています。ヴィクトリア・アンド・アルバート博物館は、2004年10月、その保存修復援助金制度のもとに2004年12月から2007年11月にかけて英ポンド£84,000のご支援を確約してくださったロサンジェルスのJ・ポール・ゲティ・トラストの一環であるゲティ財団に深い謝意を表するものです。2009年にはさらに本財団はV&A開催の国際会議「国境を越えて:東洋漆器の保存、科学と物質文化」(会期2009年10月30-31 日)だけでなく 、そしてその日英両語による会議報告書「東洋漆器―その文化史、科学と保存修復」(2011年アーキタイプ・パブリケーションズ)の出版にも資金を提供くださいました。

TIFO logo

The project is also much indebted to the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO), which made awards totalling £65,000 over the four years 2004/2005 to 2007/2008. These were in addition to the provision of funds in previous years to buy essential conservation equipment. In 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, TIFO provided additional funding to enable the creation of a gallery and web-based interactive to help disseminate the achievements of the project. 



Japan Foundation logo

On 14 June 2005 the Japan Foundation London Office, co-hosted with the V&A a seminar at which members of the project team presented a series of progress reports. This followed on from the funding by the Japan Foundation two years earlier of a research visit to London by Yoshihiko Yamashita during which the overall parameters of the conservation treatment were agreed. The meetings held at that time were attended by representatives from the V&A, TIFO, the Japan Foundation and also the Tobunken (Independent Administrative Institution, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo).



We are also grateful to Zohiko, a long-established Kyoto-based manufacturer of high quality lacquerware, for providing Japanese translations of the V&A’s Mazarin Chest Project web pages.



The project team

Mazarin Chest project team

  • Project Co-Manager, V&A, Senior Conservator, Lacquer, Shayne Rivers


  • Project Co-Manager, V&A, Senior Curator, Japanese Art, Rupert Faulkner


  • Conservator, Lacquer, Tokyo, Yoshihiko Yamashita


  • Senior Polymer Scientist, V&A, Brenda Keneghan


  • Senior Object Analysis Scientist, V&A, Lucia Burgio


  • Curator, Japanese Lacquer, V&A, Julia Hutt


Shayne Rivers - シェイン・リバーズ

Shayne Rivers is an acknowledged expert in the conservation of wood and decorated surfaces. Since 1999 she has been responsible for the conservation of lacquer objects in the V&A. Her work on cross-cultural conservation ethics and her direct experience of working with Japanese lacquer conservators have been crucial in establishing and defining the scope of this ground-breaking project. She is advisor to the three PhDs running in conjunction with the Mazarin Chest Project.


Dr Rupert Faulkner - Drルパート・フォークナー

Dr Rupert Faulkner is Senior Curator in the East Asian Section of the Asian Department at the V&A. He has a broad knowledge of Japanese cultural history together with excellent spoken Japanese and Japanese-to-English translation skills. During the past fifteen years he has managed a succession of exhibitions and other projects in the V&A. He was instrumental in co-ordinating the applications for funding for the Mazarin Chest Conservation Project, liaising extensively with The Getty Foundation, the Toshiba International Foundation (TIFO), the Japan Foundation and the Tobunken. Dr Faulkner jointly supervised the recently completed Imperial College/V&A collaborative PhD examining the removal of degraded western varnishes from photo-degraded urushi.


Yoshihiko Yamashita - 山下好彦

Mr Yamashita is a full-time conservator of Japanese lacquer. He combines extensive practical experience with a sophisticated understanding of conservation ethics and an open-minded approach. Between 1997 and 2004 he undertook conservation of internationally important lacquer objects brought to Japan for treatment as part of the Project for Conservation of Works of Japanese Art in Foreign Collections. During the Mazarin Chest Project, Yoshihiko Yamashita and Shayne Rivers undertook conservation work on the chest, discussed and critically evaluated both Western and traditional Japanese materials and techniques in order to choose those that were most appropriate for each conservation problem.


Dr Brenda Keneghan - Drブレンダ・キーニガン

As a senior member of the Conservation Science team at the V&A, Dr Brenda Keneghan is known in the museum world for her work in the field of plastics degradation. Brenda brang many years experience in materials science to the Mazarin Chest Project. She investigated selected mechanical properties of lacquer resulting from three traditional Japanese conservation treatments - the treatment of a photo-degraded lacquer surface using the urushi-gatame process, the consolidation of foundation layers using mugi-urushi and the use of kokuso as a filler. In order to do this, artificially aged lacquer surfaces were produced. Brenda is also advising two PhDs on lacquer at Loughborough University.


Dr Lucio Burgio - Drルチア・ブルジオ

As a senior member of the Conservation Science team at the V&A, Dr Lucia Burgio has recently arranged the V&A collaboration with the University of Perugia under the European-funded MOLAB (MObile LABoratory) access programme. The unique mobile analytical equipment was brought to the V&A in order to examine the lustre-ware of the renowned Italian Renaissance potter Mastro Giorgio Andreoli, held in the V&A collection. Dr Burgio, a pigment and lacquer specialist, has examined samples taken from the Mazarin Chest by optical microscopy (under both visible and UV illumination). Further analysis may be undertaken in the future using SEM and FTIR Raman microscopy in order to identify original materials and more recent restorations, to further understand lacquer itself and the techniques used in the manufacture of the chest.


Julia Hutt - ジュリア・ハット

Julia Hutt is curator of Japanese lacquer in the East Asian section of the Asian Department at the V&A and is an internationally recognised expert in the field. She has undertaken research in Japan and Europe on the history of the Mazarin Chest and its place within the broader context of 17th century Japanese export lacquer. She has provided invaluable expertise on the interpretation of design elements on the chest and has played a key role in discussions about the type and extent of conservation work.


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