Conservation

  • Cleaning Roy Lichtenstein's Modern Head

    American Art's conservation department makes sure our collection is always in great condition, inside our galleries and outside with a several sculptures that are on our museum grounds. Last week, it was Roy Lichtenstein's Modern Head that got the royal treatment.
    Jeff on June 9, 2014
  • Conservation: Paint, Tape, and Sardines

    A challenging theme has developed in Jessica Ford's projects at the Lunder Conservation Center: tape! In painting conservation, adhesive tape is not usually encountered during examination or treatment. However, in contemporary art the use of unconventional materials is rarely surprising. At times, tape was applied by painters to frame the edges of paintings or to guide a straight line. Michael Goldberg's Sardines uses a different approach and prominently features adhesive tape as part of the painting's composition.
    Chris on March 25, 2014
  • Picture This: A Study for the Capitol

    You currently can see Constantino Brumidi's Study for the Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol Building on the second floor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, near the sculpture of George Washington Resigning his Commission by Ferdinand Pettrich. This was the final study that Brumidi completed before beginning work on the interior of the U.S. Capitol dome, and the painting reveals a great deal about the artist's process.
    Georgina on December 11, 2013
  • A Closer Look at Our America: Jorge Soto Sánchez

    Michelle Sullivan is a second-year graduate fellow in Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and spent this summer at the Lunder Conservation Center. She recently treated this untitled work by Jorge Soto Sánchez for the exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, which will open on October 25, 2013.
    Chris on October 29, 2013
  • Our America: Preparing Pepón Osorio's El Chandelier for Exhibition

    Dawn Planas, a graduate conservation student at Buffalo State College, and an intern in the Lunder Conservation Center's objects lab, recently assisted with a treatment of Pepón Osorio's El Chandelier. The sculpture will be featured in the exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, which opens on October 25. Planas gives us some insight into how she prepared the chandelier for the show.
    Jeff on September 24, 2013
  • The Farm Workers’ Altar is Prepared for Exhibition

    Morgan Nau, Conservation Kress Fellow, recently treated Emanuel Martinez's Farm Workers' Altar. The sculpture will be featured in the exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, which opens on October 25. Martinez created the altar in support of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. This work, like others the exhibition, shows how Latino artists were deeply woven into the civil rights movement. Nau gives us some insight into how she prepared the altar for the show.
    Jeff on September 6, 2013
  • A Study for the Capitol

    You can now see Constantino Brumidi's Study for the Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol Building on the second floor of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, near the sculpture of George Washington Resigning his Commission by Ferdinand Pettrich. This was the final study that Brumidi completed before beginning work on the interior of the Capitol dome, and the painting reveals a great deal about the artist's process.
    Georgina on July 31, 2013
  • Conservation: Bathing A Plaster Beauty

    Morgan Nau, an objects conservator and plaster specialist on fellowship with American Art's Lunder Center clues us into how conservators keep our artworks clean.
    Chris on June 11, 2013
  • Cleaning Up Our Cowboy

    This past week, the iconic sculpture Vaquero, which was modeled in 1980 and cast in 1990 by Luis Jiménez, received its annual cleaning by museum conservators.

    Chris on May 30, 2013
  • Lunder Conservation Center: Secrets of a Sailor

    The only thing I ever knew about the portrait that hung on my great aunt's wall for most of my childhood was that it showed my great, great, great, Uncle William, a sea captain in the late 1700s.

    Mary on March 27, 2013
  • FEAR NOT, The Hampton Throne is Reinstalled!

    Art handlers' shoes were not removed because a religious convention required it, but because they didn't want their sneakers to mar the fresh paint covering the floor of the exhibition niche. It was a fitting scene for the reinstallation of James Hampton's Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly.
    Chris on November 29, 2012