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American Painting Survey

/ Art News - Caring for Art - Collections

This spring, the Museum took a close look at some of its American paintings. Collection highlights including George Inness’s Moonlight in Virginia, John Singer Sargent’s Lady Helen Vincent, and Charles Courtney Curran’s Lady With a Bouquet (Snowballs) were off of the walls for examination.

As part of the BMA’s ongoing collection care efforts, a contract conservator and a frames expert visited the Museum to evaluate 30 American paintings. The conservator looked closely at all aspects of the paintings, determining if they need conservation treatment to enhance their stability or appearance. The frames experts evaluated the frames in which the paintings are currently housed for their ability to protect the canvases and their historical appropriateness. The information we gathered through this survey will allow us to better preserve these paintings and enhance visitors’ experiences with them in the galleries.

Investigating these paintings as physical objects contributed to our knowledge of how they were made and how they have changed over time. We have learned new information that complicates our understanding of the lives of these objects. Visit the gallery this spring to see these favorites back on view and discover what we learned.

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