In the Conservation Studio with William Christenberry

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Collections Care Manager Laura Tighe in the Phillips’s conservation studio

We were saddened to hear of the passing of beloved Phillips trustee emeritus and distinguished artist William Christenberry earlier this week. His work continues to resonate and impact in our galleries and beyond. Here, Collections Care Manager Laura Tighe is matting and preparing a microclimate frame for two color photographs by the artist. The works (“Bread of Life,” near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1989/printed 1995 above at left; “Church across Early Cotton (Vertical View),” Pickinsville, Alabama, 1964/printed 2000 below and to right) will be part of an upcoming solo exhibition in December 2016 at Maryland Institute College of Art.

Picasso’s Blue Period From A Conservator’s Perspective

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Associate Conservator Patricia Favero presenting at Museu Picasso in Barcelona.

Last week, Associate Conservator Patricia Favero headed to Museu Picasso in Barcelona along with colleagues from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago to present findings at The Blue Period: New Interpretations by Means of Technical Studies, a seminar of restoration and conservation. You may recall news from last June that a portrait of a man was discovered under the Phillips’s painting by Pablo Picasso, The Blue Room; Patti discussed the research and process behind this revelation.

UPDATE: For a limited amount of time, you can watch the full presentation video on the Museu Picasso’s website.

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Associate Conservator Patricia Favero presenting at Museu Picasso in Barcelona.

 

Stieglitz and Marin: Together, Apart, and Together Again, Part 3

In this three part series, Conservation Assistant Caroline Hoover outlines the process of treating a photogravure by Marius de Zayas. Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

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(clockwise from top left) Spraying to wet up for pulp fills; using an eye dropper to get blended color matched pulp; dropping pulp into loss areas to correct thickness and transparency on light box; adjusting pulp fills to correct thickness

Paper pulp was prepared from a high quality artist paper to fill in the losses around the edges of the brittle backing paper. The backing paper was wet up in order to attach these areas of pulp. Using an eye dropper and tweezers, the pulp was dropped into the areas of loss and built up to the same thickness of the original paper. Excess water was removed and the fills were then coated with a sizing agent to ensure attachment. The paper, with its new fills, was dried between felts. Afterwards, the pulp fills were trimmed to the edge of the original paper.

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(left) Using a bone folder to get rid of excess water and flatten fills (center) coating fills with methyl cellulose to size (right) drying whole piece with fills

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(left) photogravure next to pulp filled paper (right) detail of fills

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(left) trimming excess fills (right) Alfred Stieglitz and John Marin backing page

Two tiny, thin Japanese tissue hinges were used to re-attach the photogravure to its backing paper at the top edge to secure the artwork. The picture is now ready to join its companions in a future exhibit.

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Attaching hinges

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The piece after treatment