The Chinese Painting Conservation Program was initiated in 2000 with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation. Subsequent grants from the Christensen Fund and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation supported the continuation of the program until 2009. At present, the program is funded by grants from the Stockman Family Foundation, the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The generous support from these foundations has enabled the East Asian Painting Conservation Studio (EAPCS) to increase its care of the Chinese paintings collections held by the National Museum of Asian Art, offer a fellowship in Chinese painting conservation, and develop other international educational and cooperative initiatives.


Mellon Chinese Painting Conservation Fellowship 2023

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Department of Conservation and Scientific Research (CSR), is pleased to announce the Mellon Chinese Painting Conservation Fellowship. The fellowship is a full-time (40 hours/week) commitment awarded for one year with a possible extension for a second year. The fellowship carries a yearly stipend of $50,000 along with a yearly $4,000 travel/research allowance. The fellow will be required to maintain health insurance through the duration of the fellowship. The fellowship is expected to begin during the second half of 2023.

The fellow will train in the East Asian Painting Conservation Studio (EAPCS), studying the materials and methods of Chinese painting conservation and remounting. The fellowship cultivates practical skills and fosters a solid understanding of the cultural contexts of traditional mounting, conservation philosophy, and the ethics of the conservation profession in general.

The fellow will take part in EAPCS activities, including condition surveys, remedial treatment, and complete and partial remounting to help prepare collections for exhibit or loan. Conservation work may also include preventive conservation for storage and display as well as collaboration with other members of CSR. The fellow will participate in education and outreach activities and will produce outreach materials such as blogs, presentations, and articles.

Applicant Qualifications

Applicants should be recent graduates from a recognized conservation training program or have equivalent training and experience. The best qualified candidates are those interested in pursuing a conservation career specializing in Chinese painting conservation. The applicant should have a proven record of conservation experience, writing ability, and English and Chinese language skills (written and spoken). Fellowships are awarded without regard to age, sex, race, or nationality of the applicant.


Application must include a letter of interest, a CV/resume, a portfolio of conservation work (1–3 projects), and two letters of recommendation with contact information and must be submitted to no later than March 17th, 2023.

Finalists will be invited to a virtual interview in April and will be asked to present conservation work from their portfolio. The final selection will be made in May.

For questions, please contact


Funding for the Chinese Painting Conservation Program supports a position for an assistant Chinese painting conservator. In addition to assisting with conserving and remounting Chinese paintings and calligraphy from the Freer and Sackler collections, the assistant conservator helps with projects including internships, cooperative exchanges with conservators from China and Taiwan, and the reproduction of Chinese mounting fabrics and materials.

This position is currently held by Grace Jan. A graduate of the New York University Institute of Fine Arts program in conservation, Jan has also studied traditional mounting in China. She continues to work and train with Xiang-mei Gu, the lead Chinese painting conservator in the EAPCS.

For educational materials related to the materials, methods, and care of East Asian painting collections, please see our online resources.

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