conservation

When collection objects are loaned from one museum to another for an exhibit, it is best practice for a condition report to be written before the object is sent away.

Paul Swan Self Portrait

 "The Most Beautiful Man in the World." The "reincarnation" of a Greek god. A suffragette's ideal man. "A gay camp icon." Paul Swan embodied all these superlatives

The before treatment photo shows the blanching of the varnish that obscures the painting underneath.

Everyone likes a mystery.  The painting in question certainly was.  What had caused the white surface?  Could anything be done?  What lay beneath? The painting owners had bought it at an estate auction in western Nebraska.  The estate had been owned by a man whose grandfather had been an art dealer in Portland, Oregon.  The house had been vacant, and a pipe had frozen and burst, damaging the painting.  The owners spent $2 on the painting and hoped they had a treasure on their hands.  Their daughter lived down the street from the Ford Center, so they brought it here hoping it could be saved and that something beautiful might be underneath the clouded surface.  

2011.075.02 BT Oregon Trail overall 01

March is Women’s History Month so we’re highlighting mid-20th century Nebraska artist, Sara Green.  The Ford Center has treated two of her paintings over the years.

2020.064 DT BLM poster (4)

It can be difficult to know what objects in present times will be valued in the future.  However, the staff at History Nebraska actively seeks to build its collection of objects related to current events.  

Photo of Bullet in Case with White Lead Corrosion Product Residue

This is a carbine bullet that killed Corporal Henry P. Orr at Fort Robinson on January 11, 1879.

Objects Lab

Conservators use a lot of different tools and equipment when treating objects and artwork in the lab.

Paintings Lab

Conservators use a lot of different tools and equipment when treating objects and artwork in the lab.  This quarter’s blog posts from the Ford Center will be about different tools and how we use them. 

Anastatic Declaration

On June 7, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five men to draft a statement declaring the American Colonies independent of British rule.

We often think that because we value something, it was always seen as valuable and worth keeping.  Especially if that cherished object is old, we like to think that it was previously held in high regard.  But objects come in and out of fashion. 

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