For the first time at the National Gallery of Art, works of art are being conserved in the galleries where they are permanently exhibited, in full view of the public rather than behind the scenes in a conservation laboratory.
Treatment of a painting by Jean Dubuffet illustrates the use of a hot vacuum table in the reduction of distortions and undulations of the canvas. This article outlines the condition issues and use of the large apparatus in treating the modern painting.
This symposium, captured on video, is the culmination of a five-year grant by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The talks focus on technological development and implementation of imaging instrumentation, in the areas of reflectance spectroscopy in the visible, near-infrared, mid-infrared, as well as x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Key findings obtained when applying this technology to works of art and the implications for art history are discussed.
What are illuminated manuscripts? How are they made? Explore under the microscope the exquisite detail of these luminous paintings on animal skin. Learn how we treat, store and display illuminated leaves so you and generations to come can enjoy their wonder.
Light is a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum to which the eye is sensitive. Its presence is essential for the most rewarding perception of almost all art. Yet exposure to light can result in cumulative and permanent damage to light-sensitive objects.
The treatment of outdoor works of art requires careful thought about the way an object can be safely preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. Past treatments and the environment where the object will be displayed play a role in planning a successful conservation treatment. See how An Entrance to the Paris Métropolitain was carefully cleaned and restored.
Picasso (1881–1973) often left visual clues on the surfaces of his paintings to suggest a hidden image underneath, as in The Tragedy (1903). Artists frequently make changes to a painting or reuse a canvas or panel with an image already painted on it. Explore this painting further to see how it reveals its secrets.