Jia-sun Tsang, LEED AP

Senior Paintings Conservator


Phone: 301-238-1231
Fax: 301-238-3709
E-mail Address: TsangJ [at] si.edu

Museum Conservation Institute
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746


M.S. Bowling Green State University
M.S. University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum, Art Conservation Program (1985)

Research Specialties and Interests

  • Aging behavior of acrylic and alkyd paints, and plastics
  • Modern and contemporary paintings conservation
  • Mixed media binder analysis for treatment
  • Prevention conservation of modern and contemporary paintings in exhibition and storage
  • Sustainability Practice in Conservation

Paintings Conservation

“Santos: Substance and Soul” 2000-2002, travelling exhibition: Washington DC, Puerto Rico and New Mexico; curator and project manager

“Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort,” National Museum of American Indian Oct 16, 2009 to August 8, 2010

“Contemporary Argentine Masterworks,” International Gallery, Ripley Center, Smithsonian Institution,       Oct 4, 2010 to Jan 23, 2011

 ‘Kay WalkingSticks’ exhibition at National Museum of American Indian”, Nov. 2015

“Visual Art Gallery” at National Museum of African American History and Culture, summer, 2016

Professional Activities

American Institute of Conservation
International Institute of Conservation
Green Team, Smithsonian Institution

Recent Publications

Tsang, Jia-sun, Madruga, Ines, Williams, Donald C., Bosworth, Jennifer and  Hogge, David. 2014. Conservation of an oil painting of the Empress Dowager Tze His of China. Studies in Conservation, 59(1): S157-S160.

Tsang, Jia-sun, Ines Madruga, Don Williams, Rick Pelasara and Robert Patterson, 2013 “Modernized Stretcher for Painting on Canvas: Assessment and Observation, AIC Post Print (in Press)

Tsang, Jia-sun, Schmidt, R. S. and Hollshwander, Chris. 2013. Conservation Meets Sustainability: Recycling Wooden Exhibition Cases. WAAC Newsletter, 35(2): 18-20.

Tsang, Jia-sun and Babo, Sara. 2011. Soot Removal from Acrylic Emulsion Paint Test Panels: A Study of Dry and Non-Contact Cleaning. In: Preprints, ICOM-CC (International Council of Museums - Committee for Conservation) 16th Triennial Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 19-23 September 2011. ICOM-CC, pp. 1-9.

Turner, Ann, Heald, Susan, Tsang, Jia-sun, Lee Yoonjo, Giaccai, Jennifer. 2010 Preventive Conservation and Identification of Plastics of a Recent Acquisition at the National Museum of the American Indian AIC post Print 2010.

Tsang, Jia-Sun. 2010. Safe Handling of Plastics in a Museum Environment. WAAC Newsletter, 32(2): 16-22.

Tsang, Jia-sun, Madden, Odile, Coughlin, Mary, Maiorana, Anthony, Watson, Judy, Little, Nicole C. and Speakman, Robert Jeff. 2009. Degradation of 'Lumarith' Cellulose Acetate EXAMINATION AND CHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF A SALESMAN'S SAMPLE KIT. Studies in Conservation, 54(2): 90-105.

Tsang, J., Jentsch, E.W., Gieseking, R. and Seeger, A.M. 2009. Preserving Modern Marvels: The Plastics Collection at the National Museum of American History. In: Art d'aujourd'hui patrimoine de demain: Conservation et restauration des oeuvres contemporaines (13es journees d'edutes de la SFIIC, Paris: Institut national du patrimoine, 24-26 juin 2009). Paris: IIC, pp. 1-6.

Tsang, J. 2008. Fossil Fuels Plastic. EcoExchange: newsletter of the SI Green Team, 1(3): 2-3.

Pinchin, Sarah Eleni and Tsang, Jia-sun 2007. Fluor-S Art, Northern Lites, DayGlo: Daylight Fluorescent Pigments, Their Development, Use and Performance. In: Modern Paints Uncovered: Proceedings from the Modern Paints Uncovered Symposium organized by The Getty Conservation Institute and The National Gallery of Art. London: Tate Modern, pp. 296

Dussubieux, Laure, Pinchin, Sarah Eleni, Tsang, Jia-sun and Tumosa, Charles S. 2005. Non-destructive elemental analysis: reliability of a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for museum applications. In: Preprints of the 14th Triennial Meeting ICOM Committee for Conservation, The Hague, 12-16 September 2005, Volume 2. , pp. 766-773.

Tsang, J., Pinchin, S.E., Almond, K. and Tumosa, C.S. 2004. Conservation of Murals in the Alameda Theatre: Reviving Former Cutting-Edge Fluorescent Paint and Black-Light Technology. In: Roy, A. and Smith, P., Modern Art, New Museums: Contributions to the IIC Bilbao Congress, 13-17 September, 2004. , pp. 185-188.

Tsang, J. and Esterlund, T.. You be the Conservator: Looking at Objects - Inside and Out. National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Center for Material and Research Education 2001.

Tsang, Jia-sun. Santos: Substance & Soul Exhibition Catalog.
(http://www.si.edu/mci/english/research/past_projects/nhccnmexhibit.html): 2000.

Tsang, Jia-sun, Hopwood, Walter R. and Lake, Susan. 1996. Analysis of a Moisture-Sensitive Painting. In: Painting Specialty Group Postprints. Washington, DC: American Institute for Conservation, pp. 115-120.

Klein, Elyse L., Tsang, Jia-sun and Baker, Mary T. 1992. Non-Instrumental Techniques for the Characterization and Identification of Artists' Acrylic Paints. Polymer Preprints, 33(2): 650-651.

Tsang, J. and Erhardt, W.D. 1992. Current Research on the Effects of Solvents and Gelled and Aqueous Cleaning Systems on Oil Paint Films. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 31(1): 87-94.

Tsang, Jia-sun and Cunningham, Roland C. 1991. Some Improvements in the Study of Cross-sections. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, 30: 1-14.

Erhardt, W. David and Tsang, Jia-sun 1990. The Extractable Components of Oil Paint Films. In: Cleaning, Retouching and Coatings, Preprints of the Contributions to the Brussels Congress. London: IIC, pp. 93-97.

Erhardt, W. David, von Endt, David W. and Tsang, Jia-sun 1990. Condition, Change, and Complexity: The Media of Albert Pinkham Ryder. In: Postprints of the Paintings Specialty Group. Washington, DC: American Institute for Conservation, pp. 28-35.

Lake, Susan and Tsang, Jia-sun 1990. The Conservation of 'Le Cirque' by Daniel Barinoff-Rossine. In: Postprints of the Paintings Specialty Group. Washington, DC: American Institute for Conservation, pp. 41-44.

Tsang, Jia-sun, Ravenal, Nancie, Bernstein, Johanna and Odell, J. Scott 1990. The Conservation of the 100,000th Steinway Piano. In: Cleaning, Retouching and Coatings, Preprints of the Brussels Conference. London: Interantional Institute of Conservation, pp. 52-55.