Anya Dani


Yomitan Museum of History & Folklore


About the OIST Art Conservation Program:

The Art Conservation Program is a collaboration between OIST and local museums to aid in the preservation of Okinawan artifacts and contribute to the scientific understanding of the islands’ material history. 

In general, art conservation is the profession devoted to the preservation of cultural property for the future.  This multidisciplinary field unites art and material science, allowing conservators to understand how artifacts were made, their historical importance, causes of deterioration, and how to safely intervene to increase an artifact’s longevity.  More detailed information on the field of art conservation can be found at the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
At OIST, Art Conservator Anya Dani is performing exciting artifact based research as well as conserving Okinawan artifacts such as pottery, musical instruments, lacquerware, and basketry.  The Art Conservation Program is uniquely situated with access to OIST’s advanced scientific equipment, such as X-Ray Diffractometers, mass spectrometers, and electron microscopes.  These tools are being used to enhance our understanding of the origins of Okinawan artifacts, aid in their preservation, and solve historical mysteries. 

The program has already made contributions to the preservation of Okinawan art and continues to work towards new discoveries that shed light on the islands’ artistic past.  Please visit the Activities page for more information on these projects and Anya’s current activities.

About Anya:

Anya Dani established the Art Conservation Program at OIST in November 2011.  Her background is in art conservation with a focus on three-dimensional objects such as pottery and sculpture. Her research interests include the conservation treatment, materials analysis, manufacture, and cultural context of ethnographic, archaeological, and folk art & artifacts.  Anya received an MS from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation in 2007.  She completed a BA in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware in 2003. 


Before coming to OIST, Anya worked in the Conservation Department of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.  There she worked to preserve artifacts, which were then displayed in museum exhibitions.  She also worked on large-scale museum collections survey, stabilization, and move projects.  Her previous research topics include Peruvian portable altars (retablos), Native American pottery, and African masks.  Throughout her career, Anya has worked with other prestigious institutions such as the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, Field Museum of Natural History, National Gallery of Jamaica, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

Contact: anya.dani [at]