The Last View of a Childhood Imagination

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Gustav Klimt, Birch Forest, 1903. Oil on canvas, 42 1/4 x 42 1/4 in. Paul G. Allen Family Collection

In the Seeing Nature exhibition, the Phillips invites visitors to contribute new, imagined conservation discoveries at our interpretive station, “Seeing Beyond the Frame.” For the month of March, exhibition-goers responded to Birch Forest, painted by Gustav Klimt in 1903.

Perhaps due to the poetic quality of Klimt’s work—the way shapes seem to shift from observed forms to an abstracted tapestry of patterns—or perhaps inspired by the recent poetry reading with Mark Doty and Aimee Nezhukumatathil, poetry abounds in this month’s responses. See more or share your own ideas with #SeeingNature.

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Inspired by the poetry of images in the exhibition, visitors have submitted a wide variety of poetic responses to Klimt’s Birch Forest.


Seeing Beyond the Frame

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The “Seeing Beyond the Frame” Station in Seeing Nature, which invites visitors to contribute their imagined conservation discovery and a resulting new story about a work of art in the exhibition. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

As part of the exhibition Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection, the Phillips encourages visitors to “see beyond the frame” with an interactive station focusing on conservation. In this space, you’re invited to learn about discoveries made while conserving works in the exhibition from the short videos playing in an adjacent gallery and peek into the part scientific, part detective work of an art conservator.

Each month, a different work of art from Seeing Nature is highlighted at this station and visitors are invited to create their own imagined conservation discoveries, explaining how their discoveries might change the known story about a work of art. From hidden underpaintings to long lost owners or artists, here are a few of our favorite creative submissions so far.

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Visitors to Seeing Nature have submitted a variety of contributions to “Seeing Beyond the Frame.”

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.