On view Nov. 16, 2018 – Feb. 21, 2019
In this eclectic exhibition, we re-examine works of art to uncover what might be hiding in plain sight, or just below the surface. Whether it is the application of science or the science of connoisseurship, many works from various collections have been altered by their longevity or purposefully manipulated. Today, scientific methods allow us to uncover forgeries, predict aging, attribute work to a specific artist, preserve ailing pieces and restore works closer to their original state. This exhibit offers a behind-the-scenes look at the procedures and techniques art “detectives” use to investigate what secrets artworks hold, using x-rays to infrared and solvents that remove varnish.
Traces: Revealing Secrets in Art and History was made possible by the support and technical advice from Restoration Artist Scott M. Haskins of Fine Art Conservation Laboratories (FACL, Inc.), Thousand Oaks. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Cal Lutheran Chemistry Department for the course, “Chemical Investigations of Art.” A special thanks to Dr. Katherine Hoffmann for her expertise and guidance for this exhibit.
Image: A Friendly Game, oil on canvas, 20th century, 14 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the Samuel Berzin Collection, photograph by Heritage Auctions prior to restoration.