Susan Catcher

2014 QEST Scholar - Paper Conservation

Susan is a Senior Paper Conservator at the V&A Museum, where she has worked since 2004. One of her main responsibilities is to conserve its collection of Chinese works of art on paper and silk. When working as the lead conservator for the ‘Masterpieces of Chinese Paintings’ exhibition at the V&A, she was invited to participate in a museum exchange and to visit a conservation studio in China. She is also passionate about Chinese ink rubbings and this was a perfect opportunity to learn how they are made and enhance her understanding of their conservation. The art of taking a rubbing is in danger of being lost in China partially due to the introduction of photography, and is almost nonexistent in the West.

A QEST Scholarship enabled Susan to spend time in a conservation studio in Nanjing Museum alongside a practitioner instructing her in scroll mounting and the nuances of ink rubbing. As Chinese-specific techniques are not so readily available outside China, Susan presented a paper at the IIC Conference in Hong Kong to disseminate the knowledge that she brought back to the V&A.