Previous Posts: July 2021

The V&A is Hiring!

July 19 2021

Image of The V&A is Hiring!

Picture: V&A

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is hiring a Assistant Curator, Sculpture.

According to the job description:

This is one of seven Assistant Curator posts that sit in the Decorative Art and Sculpture Department. As such, the main purpose of the job is to provide curatorial support in the development, care of, documentation and research, presentation and interpretation of a part of V&A’s Collection, in this case the Decorative Art and Sculpture Department. Assistant Curators spend a significant portion of their time working on object-related activity that pertains to the care and display of collections, maintaining documentation and developing interpretation to allow for their presentation to wide audiences. 

As a member of the Decorative Art and Sculpture Department, the postholder will also play a role in the wider work of the V&A, contributing to policy, projects and public programmes and supporting fundraising and income generation. Assistant Curators also play a role in their relevant department and will be part of the community supporting the museum’s scholarship in the Decorative Art and Sculpture Department. In short, this is a wide-ranging role in which the postholder will be able to develop their skills in all aspects of museum curation.

This full-time role comes with a salary of between £22,627 - £26,341 per annum and applications must be in by 23rd July 2021.

Good luck if you're applying!

The NPG is Hiring!

July 19 2021

Image of The NPG is Hiring!

Picture: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Portrait Gallery in London is looking for an Assistant Curator (part time).

According to the job description:

The post holder will provide administrative and curatorial support to a team of senior curatorial staff, working across the Tudor – Contemporary periods. You will support both the Tudor- Regency and the Victorian – Contemporary teams on the Inspiring People project whilst also working on commissions, acquisitions and touring exhibitions. 

This 21 hour per week role comes with a salary of £13,871 per annum, and the deadline for applications is 23rd July 2021.

Good luck if you're applying!

The Rijksmuseum is Hiring!

July 16 2021

Image of The Rijksmuseum is Hiring!

Picture: Rijksmuseum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is hiring a Curator of 18th and 19th century drawings.

According to the job description:

The curator will work within the team of twelve curators and researchers of the Rijksprentenkabinet, as well as with the museum’s curators, conservators, information specialists and registrars. The curator is responsible for the museum’s holdings of 18th- and 19th-century drawings and is closely involved in all aspects of the scholarly research, publication and interpretation of works in this subject area. The curator is also responsible for recommending potential new acquisitions and plays a major role in exhibitions and displays in this field.

The monthly salary on offer is between €3,744 - €5,214 and applications must be in by 1st September 2021.

Good luck if you're applying!

Selldorf Architects win National Gallery Contest

July 16 2021

Image of Selldorf Architects win National Gallery Contest

Picture: selldorf.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The New York based Selldorf Architects have won the National Gallery's NG200 contest to redesign the entrance of the Salisbury Wing. This £25 - £30m project will "remodel the Sainsbury Wing’s front gates, ground-floor entrance sequence, lobby and first-floor spaces; create a research centre within the nearby west wing of the Wilkins Building and deliver a series of public realm upgrades to enhance the gallery’s presence on Trafalgar Square."

According to the article linked above:

Once described as the ‘go-to architect for major art destinations’, Selldorf Architects has worked on numerous gallery projects, including for David Zwirner (pictured), Hauser & Wirth and Thaddaeus Ropac. The firm, which was founded in 1988, can also list the Frick Collection, Luma Arles, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Smithsonian American Art Museum among its roster of significant cultural clients.

Exhibition Dedicated to Art Recovered by Italian Police

July 16 2021

Image of Exhibition Dedicated to Art Recovered by Italian Police

Picture: beniculturali.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Regular readers of AHN will know that the Italian Police seem to excell in press photographs showing off recovered cultural artifacts.

Their efforts are being celebrated in a new exhibition held in Rome's Castel Sant'Angelo. Il mondo salverà la bellezza? / Will the World Save Beauty? will feature recovered artworks by the likes of Bruegel and Veronese all in an effort to highlight the war against art theft. Furthermore, the exhibition will also contain displays of new prevention and safeguarding systems in use at museums around Italy.*

The show opened on 12th July and will run until 4th November 2021.

* - Seems like the perfect place for art criminals to swat up, don't you think?

Audley End Painting Cleaned

July 16 2021

Image of Audley End Painting Cleaned

Picture: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Guardian have reported on news that a painting in Audley End in Essex, run by English Heritage, has been conserved and redisplayed (pictured in its restored state). The media seems to have led the story with news that the removal of overpaint has in fact removed the smile from the young lady's face:

The transformation of the picture rather impressive, especially as layers of overpaint and an upper extension to the canvas have been removed. The vibrant greens, a colour which usually doesn't survive that well over the centuries, are glorious. Furthermore, a new attribution to Joachim Beuckelaer has also been suggested now that the original paint surface has re-emerged.

Private Visit: Le retour des portraits de la Renaissance

July 15 2021

Video: Scribe Accroupi

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's another brilliant private viewing (in French) of the latest exhibition at the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau in France entitled Le retour des portraits de la Renaissance. This presentation is delivered by Mathieu Deldicque, curator of the musée Condé

The exhibition features renaissance portraits from the collection of the Marquis de Biencourt, a former owner of the Château, and will run until 19th September 2021.

Too Fragile to Travel (?)

July 15 2021

Image of Too Fragile to Travel (?)

Picture: Latimes.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Apologies, I seemed to have missed this rather fascinating article published by the Los Angeles Times last week.

The newspaper have run a story on the fact that a panel of nine American and European conservators 'strongly recommends against lending ‘The Blue Boy’” to the aforementioned London exhibition in 2022. The Huntington Museum, who appointed the panel of experts to advise them, seems to have overridden the recommendation of the conservators assembled. Frustratingly, no exact reasons seem to have been disclosed, however, it seems that intervening conservation treatment seems to have caused some contention as to the suitability of the loan.

In case you're wondering who was on the panel, the article listed the following experts:

Among the group was Michael Gallagher, conservation head at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art; Rica Jones, a Gainsborough specialist who is retired conservator at Tate Britain, the national collection of British art housed in London on the banks of the Thames; Mark Aronson from the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven; and Mikkel Scharff, head of the Institute of Conservation at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen.

San Pietro in Vincoli unlocks closed rooms in App

July 15 2021

Image of San Pietro in Vincoli unlocks closed rooms in App

Picture: ansa.it

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, will be opening up several closed spaces within this historically important church in a brand-new App. The App will allow virtual visitors to explore up to thirty locations within the historic complex, including frescoed rooms, ancient sacristies and archaeological spaces not usually on display to tourists. Articles suggest that all will be released to the public in mid-August.

Is this by Goya (?)

July 15 2021

Image of Is this by Goya (?)

Picture: artnet.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

It seems that the curators of the Prado Museum in Madrid are not entirely sure either.

Artnet.com have published an article on the changing debate surrounding the authorship of this painting of The Colossus (pictured). The picture had long been described as being by an apprentice, however, the museum has recently upgraded the work to 'Attributed to Goya'.

To quote the final paragraph of the article:

The Prado declined to comment to Artnet News, but a museum spokesperson told the Independent that “we have changed the attribution as part of a reorganization of 19th-century works. It seemed the right time to do this to reflect the ongoing debate over the authorship of the work, but we are not saying it was by Goya.”

Graphene to Protect Paintings from Fading?

July 15 2021

Image of Graphene to Protect Paintings from Fading?

Picture: chemistryworld.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's an interesting article on a study made by the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas in Greece on the use of Graphene to protect old paintings from light damage. Reports suggest that using a thin 'invisible' layer of the material will help protect sensitive historic pigments.

According to the article:

A graphene veil can prevent up to 70% of colour fading, the researchers behind the work suggest. While the exact amount of protection depends on the colours and the pigment substrate, ‘this corresponds approximately to 200 years of exposure under the conditions encountered in museums or other exhibition environments’, says study leader Costas Galiotis of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas in Greece. 

‘Graphene absorbs a considerable amount of ultraviolet light, depending on the number of layers, and is a very good barrier against oxygen and moisture,’ Galiotis explains. ‘It prevents colour fading by simultaneously reducing the incident harmful radiation and by delaying the diffusion of oxidising agents.’

Naturally, it is perhaps a good idea that more widespread tests are done on a variety of different painted surfaces before this becomes adopted by the conservation community. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it!

Rembrandt in IKEA

July 14 2021

Video: National Gallery of Canada

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

"Do you still want to see Rembrandt today?"

That's right. IKEA Ottawa has installed a small pop-up exhibition with reproductions featured in the National Gallery of Canada's upcoming Rembrandt exhibition. The show opens to the public on 16th July 2021.

I would also recommend having a look at some of the videos published on the gallery's YouTube Channel. There are quite a few curators talks and other lectures surrounding the themes of the exhibition.

Giandomenico Tiepolo Frescos Acquired by the Italian State

July 13 2021

Image of Giandomenico Tiepolo Frescos Acquired by the Italian State

Picture: finestresullarte.info

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A set of frescos by Giandomenico Tiepolo (1727-1804) have been acquired by the Italian State. These delicate wall paintings were removed from the walls of a residence belonging to the Valmarana family of Vicenza during World War Two. Although they have been on loan to the Palladio Museum in Vicenza for several years, the current owners had managed to secure a sale agreement with Alessandro Benetton for the sum of €1,850,000. Due to the pre-emption laws governing art in Italy, the Italian government managed to raise the money to keep them in the hands of the State.

Paolo Veneziano Exhibition at the Getty Museum

July 13 2021

Image of Paolo Veneziano Exhibition at the Getty Museum

Picture: Worcester Art Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Getty Museum's new exhibition Paolo Veneziano Art & Devotion in 14th-Century Venice opened today in Los Angeles. In particular, this exhibition will reunite for the first time several dispersed fragments of two rare surviving altar pieces. Another significant loan includes an intact triptych from the National Gallery of Parma in Italy. The show will run until 3rd October 2021.

Here's a full write-up from The Art Newspaper.

Gainsborough's Cornard Wood Conserved

July 13 2021

Image of Gainsborough's Cornard Wood Conserved

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have revealed on Twitter that Thomas Gainsborough's Cornard Wood has been conserved and redisplayed in the galleries. The picture was last cleaned during World War Two, and at a glance it seems the most recent campaign seems to have had a rather nice harmonising effect on the colours and shadowing.

Harvard Art Museums: A Conversation with George Abrams

July 13 2021

Image of Harvard Art Museums: A Conversation with George Abrams

Picture: harvardartmuseums.org

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Harvard Art Museums are hosting a free online conversation with the old master drawings collector George Abrams on Friday 16th July 2021.

According to the blurb supplied on their website:

George Abrams (Harvard College ’54, Harvard Law ’57) is internationally regarded as the preeminent collector of historical Dutch drawings. In this session, he will discuss themes, techniques, and functions of Dutch drawings from the 16th to the 18th century. Featured masterpieces from his collection include works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Rembrandt, Adriaen van Ostade, and Maria Sibylla Merian—all of which Abrams has donated to or has placed on loan to the Harvard Art Museums. Abrams will be joined in this conversation by drawings curator Joachim Homann.

The talk is free to join but registration is required.

Frans Hals Museum acquires Picture from Christie's Sale

July 13 2021

Image of Frans Hals Museum acquires Picture from Christie's Sale

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

CODART (International network of curators of Dutch and Flemish art) have announced that the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem have acquired A Festival Company in a Renaissance Room by Dirck Hals and Dirck van Delen. The painting came up for sale in Christie's evening sale last week and realised £742,500 (inc. fees). The picture was acquired with the help of the Rembrandt Association, Mondriaan Fund, National Acquisition Fund, Van Toorn Scholten Foundation, BankGiro Lottery, Fonds Marjon Ornstein, Friends of the Frans Hals Museum Association and a private Frans Hals Museum fund.

According to the press release:

The Frans Hals Museum has three other ‘merry company’ pieces by Dirck Hals in its collection (one of which was on long-term loan from the Cultural Heritage Agency [RCE]). This latest acquisition enables the museum to show how Dirck Hals’ fame transcended Haarlem city limits during his own lifetime, with artists far and wide queuing up to work with him. The painting will be on display in the Haarlem Heroes. Other Masters exhibition from mid-September. It has been on view in the Frans Hals Museum earlier, when it was on loan from the RCE between 1948 and 2019. In 2019, restitution was made to the heirs of Jacob Lierens (1877-1949), a Jewish businessman and art collector from Amsterdam. In 1941, the latter sold the painting at auction, before his company was ‘Aryanized’ by the Nazis, and he and his wife were interned in transit camp Westerbork.

'Redecoration' of Eighteenth-Century Church in Italy causes Outrage

July 13 2021

Image of 'Redecoration' of Eighteenth-Century Church in Italy causes Outrage

Picture: finestresullarte.info

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The 'redecoration' of the eighteenth-century Chiesa di San Gennaro in Naples has caused public outrage in Italy. The now-redundant church, built in 1745, was redecorated by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in a blue theme dedicated to the 'Light of Naples' and features a new stained-glass window and ceramics on the ceiling imitating stars. Critics in Italy have likened the newly decorated interior to a "an autogrill bathroom, McDonald's toilet, aquarium, waiting room of a dentist in Dubai, luxury boutique of a shopping centre..." and many other insults. In defence of attacks from conservation groups, supporters of the architect's work have said that the new scheme is not a restoration but a 're-treatment' and is naturally reversible.

Michelangelo's Thumb Print found on Wax Model in V&A (?)

July 13 2021

Image of Michelangelo's Thumb Print found on Wax Model in V&A (?)

Picture: The Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London have discovered a previously unknown thumb print on a wax preparatory model which they hope might belong to Michelangelo. The model of a Young Slave, linked to an incomplete statue carved for Pope Julius II, has been questioned in the past due to the difficulty in dating wax models. The appearance of this thumb print will, they hope, prove that it was modelled by Michelangelo himself. The fate of the wax model will appear in the new BBC2 series Secrets of the Museums which begins next Tuesday.

Restoration of Poldi Pezzoli Museum's Mantegna

July 12 2021

Image of Restoration of Poldi Pezzoli Museum's Mantegna

Picture: Finestre sull'Arte

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Italian website Finestre sull'Arte have published an interesting article on the restoration of Andrea Mantegna's Madonna and Child in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan. In particular, the article explains the work undertaken by the 'restorer' Giuseppe Molteni at the end of the nineteenth century who undertook several highly suspicious 'improvements' to the picture. Fortunately, in 2019 the museum decided to begin the task of restoring the work and removing these later additions. The work undertaken by Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence has revealed the true colours of the painting as well as undertaken scientific analysis of Mantegna's pigments and processes. Furthermore, the restoration has allowed for a more precise dating to the artist's early period in Mantua, from around 1462 - 1470.

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