Tea Service (Conservators will wash the dishes)

Museum intervention/action and photographs
Art Gallery of Ontario, Fall 2013


Early 19th Century teacups were temporarily removed from the museum collection in order to be used for tea tastings by museum staff. Together, a group of conservators, a registrar, an interpretive planner, a curator, an artist, and an art critic drank out of the re-animated cups, experiencing them through all of their senses, and through shared conversation.

Three types of tea were served: Bai Hao Yin Zhen white tea (China), Tung Ting oolong (Taiwan), and a dark, 2001 Lahu Wild Trees 1000 years old Pu-erh (China).

Before and after the action, a museum conservator washed the dishes.

A blog post about the intervention written by AGO conservator Sherry Phillips can be found here: http://artmatters.ca/wp/2013/11/conservation-notes-tea-with-diane-borsato/

Exhibition History
  • Justina M Barnike Gallery, University of Toronto, Objects Lie on a Table, curated by Emelie Chhangur, Group exhibition including new work from the Arrangements series, and Tea Service (Conservators will wash the dishes), 2016, Toronto, Canada
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Artist in Residence, Artist residency and projects, Summer - Fall 2013, Toronto, Canada