A Fond Farewell to Xavier Veilhan’s Red Bear

Sunny skies and relatively warm temperatures Friday helped make for a smooth de-installation of Xavier Veilhan’s The Bear sculpture from the plinth at 21st and Q. The Bear will now begin a long journey back to it’s permanent home in the Northwest. During his time here, the Bear cheerfully welcomed visitors to the Phillips – we are a little sad to say goodbye.

Getting ready to go: Protecting the Bear with soft cloth.

Protecting the Bear with layers of soft cotton cloth.

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Almost ready to go.

Preparing to lift the Bear from its base.

Preparing to lift the Bear from its base.

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Rehousing a Diego Rivera Watercolor

In the summer of 2012, The Phillips Collection received the generous gift of an original Diego Rivera watercolor from Kerry H. Stowell. The watercolor is executed on delicate Japanese paper and depicts a poignant child labor scene. The artwork had become wrinkled in its old matting and frame over time. Whenever a new artwork enters the museum’s collection, the conservator examines its condition. The picture receives treatment when necessary and is rehoused in museum quality materials. In this case, the Rivera picture required removal from an acidic, poor quality backing board and flattening before being hinged into a new mat.

After removing the old paper hinges and flattening the paper, new hinges of Japanese paper are prepared. Since the artwork will be floated in its new mat, the Japanese paper is toned with acrylic paints in order to be less visible. The following photos illustrate eleven steps that were taken to prepare the newly acquired artwork for exhibition at the museum.

Step 1: Hinges are toned to match the original color of the artwork so they will be invisible. Photos: Patricia Favero

Step 1: Hinges are toned to match the original color of the artwork so they will be invisible. Photos: Sylvia Albro

Step 2: Conservation technician, Caroline Hoover, prepares the hinges and wheat starch paste for the new mount

Step 2: Conservation technician, Caroline Hoover, prepares the hinges and wheat starch paste for the new mount

Step 3: Pasting out the Japanese paper hinges with wheat starch paste

Step 3: Pasting out the Japanese paper hinges with wheat starch paste

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The heat may be getting to us.

Arthur Dove‘s influence on 20th century animation?

(left) Arthur Dove, Coal Carrier, 1929 or 1930. Oil on canvas, Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1930. (left) Domo, mascot of NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation).

(left) Arthur Dove, Coal Carrier, 1929 or 1930. Oil on canvas, Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1930. (left) Domo, mascot of NHK (Japanese Broadcasting Corporation).

(left) Arthur Dove, 1941, 1941. Wax emulsion on canvas, 25 x 35 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1942. (right) Looney Tunes' Marvin Martian (with Bugs Bunny).

(left) Arthur Dove, 1941, 1941. Wax emulsion on canvas, 25 x 35 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Acquired 1942. (right) Looney Tunes' Marvin the Martian (with Bugs Bunny).