This field focuses on training students in the knowledge and techniques used in the conservation and restoration of paintings. Because each individual painting is comprised of a combination of various materials, students learn about the characteristics of each paintings construct and materials in order to lessen any damage or wear and tear of the work. Classes focus on knowledge and techniques needed, such as handling, survey, observation and recording methods, the evaluation of storage needs, and conservation and restoration work. These studies will give students a deeper understanding of art works from a variety of perspectives.
Buddhist sculpture and other forms of traditional cultural properties were created technically along essentially established lines. Modern and contemporary works, on the other hand, frequently involve a diverse array of materials, methods and constructs. While respecting traditional restoration methods, students in the department will learn the use of new materials and equipment from a modern historical and physical sciences approach, and learn restoration processes through experimentation and evaluation. Additionally, through museum internships, students will gain hands-on experience of actual art works and cultural properties, having an opportunity to learn more about the current state of such objects in their actual settings.
This field trains students in the evaluation and analysis of art works and cultural properties using the latest scientific technologies in order to provide this information to the Conservation and Restoration divisions. Structural surveys of the interiors of works using radiographic and infrared light and chemical analyses of the materials used in a work are all essential elements in contemporary conservation and restoration. In addition to the study of the work itself, various aspects of a work’s environment must be surveyed in order to clarify the causes of decay and damage. “Preventative conservation” with its goal of preventing damage caused by natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes is another important aspect of this field.
Art works conceal within themselves a myriad of information, including history, climate and the thoughts of their creators. Art History is the field in which an art work’s true form is sought out and correctly interpreted in order to “understand” the art work. First and second year students will study art works located in Tohoku regional museums, temples and shrines to build their knowledge base. From the third year onward students conduct specialized research in the two fields of Japanese art history and Western art history. Field study trips to Italy, the United States and other destinations are conducted each year, providing students with an important opportunity to come into direct contact with art works and to be inspired by them, while also allowing students to work on their research in small groups directly with teaching faculty.