Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012
In the interview with Pete Dandridge, we learned about the challenges involved in treating and displaying the delicate ivory panels from al-Humayma. The thoughtful and considerate conservation work on these pieces allows us to see amazing remnants of a large Abbasid residence located in the Hisma desert of southern Jordan. They also represent—through the figures' wardrobes and poses—a point of contact between multiple cultures.
Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2012
As registrar, Aileen Chuk organizes the arrival, installation, and return of loaned works of art for exhibitions at the Museum. I recently spoke with her about the preparations for Byzantium and Islam.
Posted: Tuesday, July 3, 2012
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Pete Dandridge, Conservator and Administrator, The Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation, about his work preparing for the exhibition.
Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012
As discussed in an earlier post, Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai has been continuously inhabited since the fourth century A.D. Remarkably, a lavish figural mosaic program from the sixth century, occupying the conch of the church's apse and a surrounding triumphal arch, survives to this day.
Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
As I discussed in last week's post, the first step in the creation of these ivory sculptures was for the artist to establish the conceptual placement of each chess piece within the tusk, allowing for each distinct section of ivory to be cut out. The bottom sides of several chessmen retain the parallel marks of successive saw cuts often interspersed with the less regular cuts of chisels and files used to flatten and refine the base. The underside of the Knight from the Metropolitan, for example, shows the gently arching cut of the saw on the bottom right, chisel marks across the top center, and numerous, parallel cuts that resulted from filing.
Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011
All works of art strive to alter the perception of the viewer. The most successful meld a unique artistic vision with a thorough understanding of materials and a command of techniques. To discern how artists do what they do so well, conservators draw on a range of resources—including contemporary records of artistic practices, archaeological evidence, previous research, direct observation, and visual and material analyses.
Posted: Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Velázquez's portrait of Philip IV, king of Spain, went back on view in the European Paintings galleries today after an absence of more than a year, following the completion of a particularly complex restoration.
Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The signature image of the exhibition Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (closing August 15) is the Seated Harlequin, a masterpiece painted by Picasso when he was just nineteen years old. Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, spoke with me about the painting's imagery and style, as well as recent discoveries made by Metropolitan Museum conservators.
Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Many visitors may not realize that the Museum's staff includes ten scientists, with backgrounds in chemistry, biology, geology, or engineering. As part of the Department of Scientific Research, we study the materials and the technologies that were used in creating works of art, and we collaborate with curators and conservators on art historical studies, conservation research, and conservation treatments.