Fund to Conserve to Revive Historical Indonesian Textiles to Preserve Their Diplomatic and Cultural Symbols of Unity
- 01 Aug, 2017
Washington, D.C. – August 1, 2017 – The Fund to Conserve United States Diplomatic Treasures Abroad, a non-profit partner of the U.S. Department of State, today announced it is restoring and replicating a priceless art collection created by Iwan Tirta (1935 – 2010), the ‘maestro’ of contemporary batik, which has embodied American and Indonesian diplomacy for decades. Conservation of these traditional batik fabric serves as a symbol of U.S and Indonesian relations.
“For over 30 years, these tapestries have graced the United States Embassy in Jakarta and have served as a testament to the friendship between the American and Indonesian community,” said Julia Brennan, Caring for Textiles CEO. “Batik is the most famous of all traditional Indonesian handcrafts – and the Fund to Conserve is leading the way to replicate and restore this exquisite collection thereby, promoting the true spirit of diplomacy.”
This effort includes both restoring and replicating batiks of the Great Seal of the United States, which will hang on the entry doors to the U.S. Embassy Chancery and Consulate. Once fully restored, the originals will be preserved in a discrete location in the Embassy. The artists who worked with Tirta on the originals will create the exact replicas in Tirta’s signature style to ensure precise design, color, power and message. The replicas will be framed and displayed in the renovated U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. Tirta’s creative genius brought old batik traditions into high fashion and popular culture, being worn by leaders including Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton as well as Nelson Mandela.
“The Fund to Conserve focuses on culturally significant treasures world wide to ensure that they are preserved and respected for generations to come,” said Michael Sonnenreich, President of the Fund to Conserve. “This is an example of the diversity of global efforts that we are involved in as well as how we are enriching symbolic cultural gifts. We are thankful to all of our donors who make endeavors like these possible.”
Recent conservation efforts include the revival of monumental bronze entry doors of the United States Ambassador’s Residence in Tokyo. The doors were part of the original design, which were completed in 1931 and are being restored to their original beauty and functionality. In addition, the original wood paneling in the library of the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Bogotá, Colombia, has been fully sponsored by the Fund to Conserve and is now being conserved as well. The home was constructed by the U.S. Government in 1951 and is recognized as a cultural treasure by Colombia, and is protected by Colombian law.
For more information on how to get involved and about this restoration project, please visit http://fundtoconserve.org/gallery/iwan-tirta-batik-collection-framing-2/
About The Fund to Conserve: The Fund to Conserve United States Diplomatic Treasures Abroad was created as a 501(c)3 public-private partnership to promote – through fundraising – the conservation and stewardship of the Department of State’s architecturally and culturally significant overseas buildings and its heritage collections of fine and decorative arts. These properties and collections represent over two centuries of United States diplomacy around the world. They reflect many global traditions, and our respect for the cultures of the countries in which the U.S. has diplomatic missions.
To learn more about the critical initiatives and work surrounding The Fund to Conserve United States Diplomatic Treasures Abroad, please visit fundtoconserve.org
Director, Nonprofit & Arts
Sage Communications (for The Fund to Conserve)