An interesting artifact has entered the museum Archives, courtesy of Archivist/Records Manager Geoff Edwards. This glass paperweight holds a small photograph of the museum and the Cincinnati Art Academy (now located downtown).
There are few things more satisfying than seeing some really dramatic “before and after” photos when a conservation treatment is complete! Conservation of Elizabeth Hawes’ “flag dress” or Geographic (1940) has wrapped up, and now you can flip through a whole album of “before/after” pairs showing the transformations of many of the flags that cover the dress.
If you’ve been following our Conservation blog posts, you may have seen several updates as we carried out treatment over the past two years.
In 2019 and 2020 the museum received three prints by American artist Raphael Soyer (1899–1987), the first of his prints to enter the museum’s collection.
The forecourt display case in the Conversations Gallery is fresh! A new rotation arrived last week, and it is practically aglow with summery white freshness. How does a 150-year-old child’s dress look this crisp and breezy?
We’ve had this painting by American Impressionist Theodore Robinson (1852–1896) listed for varnish removal for a while. That’s because curators and conservators know that Impressionist artists rarely varnished their paintings.
Over a couple of weeks, I examined, cleaned, and rehoused a series of sixteenth-century prints by Léonard Gaultier (circa 1561–circa 1630).
How would you like to travel in a custom “sleeping bag”? These three dresses designed by Ann Lowe (American, 1898–1981) are headed to the Winterthur Museum in Delaware for the exhibition Ann Lowe: American Couturier, snuggled in soft surrounds for a safe and comfortable trip.
We are working on some tiny ceramics!
Another work recently conserved for the British catalog project, The Approaching Storm by English artist Thomas Barker (1769–1847), presented a challenge.
In 2005 the museum received a gift of Japanese art that includes ceramics, paintings, and prints. Now that our Curator of Prints Kristin Spangenberg has finished researching the 35 prints in this gift, I am reviewing their needs before moving them to their permanent storage locations.
What is one of the best things about being a textile conservator? To me, it’s that I sometimes have the chance to “converse” with my fashion design heroes through their work.
When I read the curatorial file for this painting, I discovered a remarkably expansive biography, not just of the painting itself, but also of the sitter and the artist. What is most interesting to me, though, is the sitter’s story.
This week, the museum installed a twenty-first century take on the monumental “roll-up” map.
This week, grab a sneak peek at “coming attractions” with this Indian floor spread! She’ll be the “star of the show” in our Anu and Shekhar Gallery of South Asian Art when installed at the end of June.
The treatment on our Jain Shrine is (finally!) nearing completion!
See the painting in Gallery 227 during your next visit.
We recently cleaned Sunlight on Prospect Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts by Edward Hopper (1882–1967).
Does crisp spring weather make you crave a snuggly blanket? The Cincinnati Art Museum has several!
This fifteenth-century Chinese ceramic bowl presents some intriguing features that tell a fascinating story of its past. Shells and barnacles cover the bowl’s surface. These unusual attachments are commonly seen on objects that have spent time in ocean environments, in this example, possibly the result of a shipwreck.
Painted by the French Impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), Fog on Guernsey recently paid a visit to our lab for cleaning—and it let us in on a charming secret.
A recent bequest of 20th-century American prints and paintings includes this view of Cincinnati by Laurence Sisson (1928–2015). Painted in watercolor with pen and black ink, the scene captures downtown buildings overlooking the Ohio River as Sisson saw them in 1954.
Treatment is complete for this 1920s silk chiffon and velvet dress which showed loss in several places, including the right shoulder.
After removing all the old adhesive and over paint, we revealed several areas of loss to the painted scene on the glazed surface. This loss was likely caused by the same incident that damaged the foot causing the piece to break into multiple fragments.
This portrait of an anonymous lady by an anonymous British artist was so dirty that only the most basic details were visible before conservation.
Paper conservation often involves undoing repairs by others who don’t have the knowledge or materials needed to best preserve the art. I recently examined a drawing by Cincinnati artist John Ruthven (1924 – 2020) with a long tear that had been mended with pressure sensitive tape, often referred to as “Scotch tape.”
Are you a pal of Indian textiles? Then be sure to see the palampore currently on display in the South Asian Gallery!
While cleaning and conserving our Jain shrine, we discovered several layers of paint from different periods of its history. The carved wooden designs would have been repainted several times during its use as a devotional object.
These three portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds (British, 1723–1792) have come out of storage and into the conservation lab for the museum’s British catalog project . They are due to be examined, and perhaps treated, before heading to our photography department for high resolution imaging.
Getting beautiful objects on display is a multi-stage process that often includes a stop (or several!) in Conservation. This week we installed some new objects in the Forecourt Gallery of the museum, including this child’s dress.