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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Macro-Scanning Cézanne’s Still Life

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

2/15/2024

CAMConservation, Cezanne, paintings conservation, hidden paintings, X-ray, XRF macro-scan

Last month, three Northwestern scientists brought their highly specialized scanning and imaging equipment to the museum and spent a week in our Paintings/Objects lab.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Preparing Woo Chong Yung for Display

by Cecile Mear, Conservator of Works on Paper

2/8/2024

paper conservation, Woo Chong Yung, C.Y. Woo, Wu Zhongxiong, Asian Art, Asian painting conservation

Preparations are well underway for the upcoming exhibition From Shanghai to Ohio: Woo Chong Yung (1898-1989). In fact, we have been developing the show for more than four years.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Cleaning a Visitor Favorite: Girl Eating Porridge

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

1/18/2024

CAMConservation, Bouguereau, surface cleaning, visitor favorite, paintings conservation

This visitor favorite, Girl Eating Porridge, by French artist Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825–1905), was acquired by the museum in 1884, a mere ten years after the artist painted it.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A Portrait’s Curious Characteristics

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

12/7/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Weir, Twachtman, X-ray, hidden paintings

This small painting by American artist Julian Alden Weir (1852–1919) was donated to the museum by the artist in 1911.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Gainsborough’s Ladies

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

11/2/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Thomas Gainsborough

These three portraits by 18th-century British artist Thomas Gainsborough are in the paintings conservation lab to be examined for the British catalog project.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A Twisted Tale

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

10/5/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, panel paintings

This small round painting, attributed to the studio of the 17th century Dutch artist Frans Hals, was recently in the paintings conservation lab to have its discolored varnish removed.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Removing Varnish, Brightening a Landscape

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

8/10/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Theodore Robinson, Impressionism, American Impressionism

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.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: The Approaching Storm

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

7/5/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Thomas Barker, CAM British Painting catalog, CAM British Paintings

Another work recently conserved for the British catalog project, The Approaching Storm by English artist Thomas Barker (1769–1847), presented a challenge.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A Seemingly Innocuous British Portrait

by Kristopher Reisser, Conservation Intern

6/8/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, cam intern, mather brown, portrait, European Paintings

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.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Street Cleaning

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

5/11/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, hopper

We recently cleaned Sunlight on Prospect Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts by Edward Hopper (1882–1967).

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A Charming Secret

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

4/13/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Impressionism, Pierre Auguste Renoir

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.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Revealing an (Anonymous) British Lady

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

3/16/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, British portraiture

This portrait of an anonymous lady by an anonymous British artist was so dirty that only the most basic details were visible before conservation.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Another British Invasion!

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

2/16/2023

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Sir Joshua Reynolds, portrait, British catalog project, European Paintings

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.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Brightening a Nearly 100-Year-Old Harbor Scene

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

1/19/2023

paintings conservation, CAMConservation, Selden

Before the work was shipped to the museum from out of state, our curator of American art, Julie Aronson, PhD, contacted a professionally trained paintings conservator in that region to examine it. He noted a few areas with cracks and lifting paint that might be jeopardized during transport. With permission from the owner , the conservator applied the three tissue paper patches you see here to make sure that no paint flakes were lost in transit.

Revealing a “Hidden” Cézanne

by Serena Urry, Chief Conservator

12/15/2022

X-ray, CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Paul Cezanne

A few months ago, I posted about the complicated surface coatings on Cézanne’s Still Life with Bread and Eggs.” But what was going on under the surface was even more of a surprise.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Women at the Races

by Conservation

10/6/2022

CAMConservation, Manet, paintings, paintings conservation

Look for the recently conserved painting in our gallery soon.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Bread, Eggs, and UV Light

by Conservation

9/15/2022

CAMConservation, paintings, Paul Cezanne, still lifes, paintings conservation

Look for Bread and Eggs (and onions!) to return to the permanent galleries soon.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Phew!

by Conservation

8/18/2022

Murillo, paintings, paintings conservation, CAMConservation, framing

The last step of conserving the large 7’ x 5’ painting by Murillo has arrived.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Structural Support

by

6/23/2022

Murillo, paintings conservation, paintings, CAMConservation, strip lining

Now that the Murillo has been cleaned of varnish and retouching, it’s time to address its structural support, in other words, the canvas and stretcher.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Varnished Villanueva

by Conservation

5/26/2022

Murillo, paintings conservation, CAMConservation

Cleaning of the very large painting by the Spanish artist, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, has begun.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Return of the Shrimp

by Conservation

4/28/2022

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Henry Mosler, varnish removal

Our paintings conservator is readying another painting for our upcoming exhibition Henry Mosler Behind the Scenes: In Celebration of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Ladder Required

by Conservation

3/31/2022

Murillo, paintings, paintings conservation, CAMConservation

Conservation has begun on one of the tallest paintings in the museum.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A face, an egg, a patch

by Conservation

3/3/2022

CAMConservation, paintings, paintings conservation, hidden paintings

Conservation of the large still-life by an anonymous 17th century Neapolitan artist is finally finished.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Packed and Ready to Go

by Conservation

2/24/2022

Asian painting, Asian painting conservation, CAMConservation, art packing

More Asian paintings have moved through the paper lab on their way to be conserved by a scroll mounting specialist.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: A Close Encounter

by Conservation

2/3/2022

paintings, paintings conservation, CAMConservation, Hans Hofmann, Henry Mosler

Here’s another close encounter in the paintings conservation studio that you would be unlikely to see in our galleries.

A New Korean Tiger Painting

by Hou-mei Sung, Curator of East Asian Art

2/1/2022

Korean Tiger Painting, East Asian Art, Tiger and Cubs, Buddhist painting, chinese paintings, Joseon dynasty

As the king of beasts in China, the tiger is also one of the oldest and most meaningful animal subjects in Chinese painting. Here, the unidentified artist portrays a large tigress sitting under an old pine tree.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Still Life in Blue with Lemon by Paul Cézanne

by Conservation

12/9/2021

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Impressionism, impressionist, French immpressionist, Paul Cezanne

Be sure to stop by Gallery 227 to see Still Life in Blue with Lemon after its visit to Conservation.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Striped pigments?

by Conservation

11/3/2021

paintings conservation, inpainting, conservation paints, pigments

No, it’s just the morning sun hitting our jars of dry pigments through the blinds, a brief exposure that does no harm.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Two Squirrels on a Pine Branch

by Conservation

10/28/2021

Wu Zhongxiong, Asian painting conservation, Asian painting, paper, paper conservation

Shown here is a painting by Wu Zhongxiong that was selected by the Curator of Asian art to include in our next grant application.

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Road trip!

by Conservation

10/8/2021

CAMConservation, paintings conservation, Robert Frederick Blum, Venetian Lacemakers, loans

Conservators strive to ensure that their conservation treatments will preserve each artwork for numerous decades or, we hope, even longer.