Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Goddess Diana Art Conservation Treatments at Philadelphia Museum of Art

A couple of years ago I made a video wile I walked through the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was surprised how many people commented and enjoyed that walk through with me. Here's the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFULHuqJ6kw

In that video I highlighted the statue of the Goddess Diana the which was just announced that the Bank of America is funding conservation treatments and regilding. Here's an interesting article about it: http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=63474#.Ucn3jhb9NjQ

The question comes up every once in awhile, "How ethical is it to redo, repaint, refinish artwork"? That's a good question! If you strip and refinish important valuable furniture, you will seriously impact the value. But, stripping a vintage car down to the metal and redoing it can enhance the value. If you repaint a damaged painting, the value goes into the toilet. But the Chinese restorers cover over damage on old ceramics so to make the damage undetectable (they think)... the value of its original nature is greatly compromised. A historic structure gets completely redone from top to bottom and it adds value to the property. If you over clean valuable wood duck decoys, the value is nil.

In this case, the worry is not about its monetary value but concerns the original nature of a historic statue. The idea with this art conservation intervention is to take it back to its original appearance but I question whether this is heavy handed. Goddess Diana has a history. Let her show off the testimonial conditions and let her be what she is now, today. She will be stunning in gold I'm sure. But her historic wrinkles will be botoxed away.

For a video tour of our lab go to http://www.fineartconservationlab.com
Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 805 564 3438
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