One of the most exciting aspects of working in paper conservation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is the variety of objects encountered on a daily basis. Pier Gustafson’s Father’s Suitcase is a one-of-a kind artwork that required unique treatment solutions.
In the 1980s Gustafson produced trompe-l’oeil installations of everyday objects, such as Father’s Suitcase, constructed entirely of paper and India ink. Like an old black-and-white photograph, these life-size three-dimensional drawings evoke a sense of nostalgia and history. The suitcase was originally exhibited at a gallery in Boston in a multi-room installation that included paper pianos, chairs, ladders, and even tubes of paint.