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Conservator to Discuss Restoraton of Rubens Painting at the Clark October 22

For Immediate Release

October 15, 2000

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA, (October 13, 2000) – Visitors will have a rare opportunity to see a painting midway through the process of conservation in a gallery talk at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. On Sunday, October 22, at 2:00 p.m., Sandra Webber, conservator at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, will focus on the school of Rubens painting Holy Family Under an Apple Tree. The painting, now on view in the exhibition Piece by Piece: Putting Art Together, Taking Art Apart, has recently had layers of varnish and in-painting removed, revealing its "actual" state. The painting is on a panel consisting of six pieces of wood joined together—two of which were later additions painted by a different artist. Over the years since the painting was created in 1632, the wood expanded and contracted, resulting in paint loss at the joints, and conservators filled in the gaps with new paint. In its current state, the "cracks" between the panels are revealed. Following the conclusion of the exhibition the conservation process will continue and the painting will be restored to its more familiar appearance. Webber will discuss the process used on the Rubens, as well as other works in the exhibition that have undergone conservation. The talk is free with gallery admission.

Piece by Piece: Putting Art Together, Taking Art Apart explores the ways in which works of art are designed, constructed, and in some cases, deconstructed. Forty include preparatory studies illustrating the systematic methods that painters use to build their compositions as well as drawings and prints that were created in pieces. Fragmented works by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, and Winslow Homer are featured, and two halves of a divided sheet by Edgar Degas are reunited for the first time since they left the artist's studio. The exhibition comprise works from the Clark's permanent collection as well as loans from the John and Alice Steiner Collection, Yale University Art Gallery, the Chapin Library of Rare Books, and private collections. Piece by Piece is on view through December 3.James A. Ganz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs and curator of Piece by Piece will give a gallery talk about the exhibition on Sunday, October 29, at 2:00 p.m.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free through May.  For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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