Meeting Lady Harrington

April 29, 2011

Earlier this year we had the great pleasure of learning more about  the fascinating career of Lady Harrington, our eldest volunteer at Pacific Asia Museum, through an interview held by Bridget Bray our museum curator. Lady Harrington is a UCLA graduate in the field of Archeology and a pilot of many years. Throughout her life Lady has had the pleasure of traveling to many different countries like the UK, Mexico, Italy, and China,  just to name a few.

As an archeologist, Lady’s most memorable experience took place in a remote location in Guatemala as she had a first-hand experience documenting hieroglyphs in a massive cave complex. Guatemala not only provided Lady with an experience of studying early human culture and her first opportunity at a dig site outside of the US, but also the opportunity to be in the co-pilot’s seat flying into remote locations, and landing on dirt runways.

Lady has retired and leads an exciting life as a volunteer, currently helping to inventory the museum’s art collection as well as volunteer commitments with other organizations. As the interview closed Lady gave thanks to Pacific Asia Museum for the manner in which the staff welcomes and encourages each volunteer to keep moving forward in their own work, and making volunteers feel  part of the museum during their projects.

We thank you Lady, for sharing your life story and being an inspiration to both volunteers and staff. Thank you. Just in case you were wondering, we did ask Lady the one question many people have on their mind, “Are you a member of the British aristocracy?” A question she gracefully answered, but one that you will have to find out, next time you see her.


Inventory of the Museum Collection

April 8, 2011

Given the task to organize and safely store objects in the museum’s art storage areas has proven to be quite a challenge, one that is detail oriented and a test of our own Cesar Santander’s true Tetris skills. Though it’s a tedious task at times, the project is very rewarding, as he gets to be up close and personal with each piece of artwork. Being able to hold an artifact that has been dated to the Han Dynasty is something that keeps him excited as the days go on. Though he never really touches the objects since he’s wearing gloves all the time.

This project involves the relocation of 300 ceramic objects in storage. The process is somewhat short. Each object is measured for its dimensions (height, width, depth), any conditions noted (losses, cracks, soiling etc.) After each object has been recorded, Cesar lightly dusts its surface if necessary to prepare it for storage . Objects are then stored in microenvironments using special acid-free materials to protect them from degradation. Each object is then held in place with the use of foam cutouts; in the same manner that flat screen TV’s are packed for stability and as an extra layer of protection from external forces. Then the game of Tetris begins, storing different size boxes in one shelf can be a challenge at times, but Cesar has by now figured out the pattern.