"Wear and Care: Conserving the Public's Art" highlights the conservation of the city's century-old collection of small-scale artworks and more recent large-scale public art.
The exhibition includes 15 displays exploring the impact that sunshine, sticky fingers, dirty air and other environmental factors have on artworks, both large and small, outdoors and indoors. Drawn from the city's Municipal Art Collection, it highlights the work conservators perform to preserve paintings, prints and other small works. It also reveals how the durability of materials and construction details helps to shape the design of such large-scale city works as shade structures, bridges, walls and monumental sculptures.
Highlights include two recently-cleaned historic paintings by Charles Reiffel and Maurice Braun. Displayed here for the first time since their cleanings, they reveal the rich colors the artists intended before nearly a century of grime and yellowing varnish clouded the surfaces. Viewers also will be able to see the dramatic, before and after effects of conservation in a 99-year-old painting by Benjamin Brown, which was half cleaned for this exhibition.