Painting Restoration on View at The National Gallery of Denmark

Posted in exhibitions, museums by Editor on November 5, 2015

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Johann Salomon Wahl, after an original by Martin van Meytens, A Banquet at the Court of the German Emperor Charles VI, 1741 (Danish Royal Collection)

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On view at the National Gallery of Denmark:

Open Studio: A Birthday Present for the Queen
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, 29 October 2015 — 28 February 2016

For a four-month period, visitors to the SMK can watch the museum’s conservators at work, wielding scalpels and pigments to restore a painting that usually hangs on the wall of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II’s private quarters. The restoration of J.S. Wahl’s painting A Banquet at the Court of the German Emperor Charles VI (1741) is the New Carlsberg Foundation’s gift to the Queen on the occasion of her 75th birthday.

FREDENSThis large-scale painting has hung on the walls of Fredensborg Palace—now the private residence of H.M. Queen Margrethe II—since 1872. Painted by Johann Salomon Wahl in 1741, after an original by Martin van Meytens, the painting was acquired for the Royal Danish Kunstkammer in the year of its making and has been part of the royal collections ever since. With the passage of the years, the painting deteriorated to the point where it could no longer withstand being on display. A lack of adhesion between the paint layer and the canvas has caused paint to peel off in many areas, and even more paint threatens to fall off across the entire canvas. The painting is in need of thorough conservation and restoration.

Such restoration has now been made possible by a donation from the New Carlsberg Foundation, a birthday present to the Queen. The treatment requires more than 2,200 hours of painstaking work where the conservators will reattach unstable paint, laminate the canvas onto a new one and carry out extensive retouching of the damage sustained over the years. When the extensive conservation process is complete, the painting will once again be on display at Fredensborg Palace.

The SMK has many years of experience with opening up its conservators’ workshops to visitors. Doing so offers the general public a chance to gain insight into the work done behind the scenes at the museum. From 29 October 2015 to 28 February 2016 the SMK’s conservators will allow all visitors to peep into the museum’s engine room. During this period, visitors can follow the conservators’ work on this extensive restoration project—and will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

A Banquet at the Court of the German Emperor Charles VI was painted as a copy after an original by Martin van Meytens, created for the Viennese court in 1736. In the years that followed, several different versions were painted by a range of artists. The original work was probably painted in connection with either the wedding or the engagement between the emperor’s eldest daughter, Maria Theresa, and Francis Stefan of Lorraine. Their union was an important event in European history; upon her father’s death a few years later Maria Theresa became sovereign of the Austrian and Hungarian lands as the Habsburg family’s first female successor to the throne. When Francis Stefan was subsequently elected Holy Roman Emperor as Francis I, their marriage expanded and reaffirmed the Habsburg family’s power in Europe.

The ruling emperor and empress, Charles VI and Elisabeth Christine, are seated underneath a canopy at the centre of the table, whereas the bride and groom are seated at the end of the table to the right. To the left are the emperor’s sister, Maria Magdalena, and his second-eldest daughter, Maria Anna. They are surrounded by courtiers, members of the aristocracy and persons of prominent military rank.

Conference | Yankee Ingenuity and New England Decorative Arts

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on November 5, 2015

From Historic Deerfield:

Yankee Ingenuity and New England Decorative Arts, 1790–1840
Historic Deerfield, Deerfield, Massachusetts, 13–15 November 2015

Join us for an in-depth examination of the decorative arts of New England’s inventors, merchants and peddlers during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

When President Adams moved into the new White House in 1800, innovation and adaptation already drove the creative designs of many New England-made objects. Even as elite tastes maintained traditional ties to European styles and materials, the consumer demands of an expanding middle class fueled inventive entrepreneurial approaches to making and selling cheaper, attractive, American-made goods. At times protected or even encouraged by embargo, war, and westward expansion, New Englanders made and sold a profusion of wares including patent clocks, popular prints, glassware, stoneware, tinware, pewter, cast iron stoves, and stenciled and painted furniture. First competing with and ultimately replacing European manufactures for many families, they infused their products with artistic energy and excitement that spurred a national impulse to ‘Buy American’. Forum speakers and demonstrators will include Peter Benes, Deborah Child, David Jaffee, Amanda Lange, Ned Lazaro, William McMillen, Mary Cheek Mills, Sumpter Priddy, Andrew Raftery, Christine Ritok, and Philip Zea.

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Participants who arrive early are welcome to walk The Street and enjoy Deerfield’s historic houses. The museum exhibits ingenious examples of New England decorative arts in the Museum’s Attic of the Flynt Center of Early New England Life and in the exhibition Into the Woods: Crafting Early American Furniture. Before the Forum begins, four optional workshops (additional fee required) and one estate planning workshop (no fee) are offered on Friday afternoon, November 13.

1:00–2:30  Optional Workshop: “Connoisseurship of Antique Tinware: The Trade, Materials, Tradesmen, Tools, and Products,” William McMillen, Master Tinsmith, Glenmont, NY
1:00–2:30  Optional Workshop: “Yankee Potters: New England-Made Ceramics,” Amanda Lange, Curatorial Department Director, Historic Deerfield

3:00–4:30  Optional Workshop:  “Peddling Fashion: Accessories in Early New England, 1790–1840,” Ned Lazaro, Associate Curator of Textiles and Collections Manager, Historic Deerfield
3:00–4:30  Optional Workshop: “Glass in Early America: An Introduction to History and Technology,” Mary C. Mills, Historic Glass Specialist, Cultural Resources Management, AECOM

5:00  Opening Reception

6:00  Welcome by Philip Zea, President, Historic Deerfield, Inc.

6:10  Keynote Lecture: “Fashioning the New Nation in Post-Revolutionary New England,” David Jaffee, Professor and Head of New Media Research, Bard Graduate Center

7:30  Dinner on own or prix fixe dinner at the Deerfield Inn

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8:30  Registration, coffee, and refreshments

9:30  Lecture: “American Fancy and Rural New England Creativity,” Sumpter Priddy, Historic Furnishings Consultant, Alexandria, VA

10:30  Break

11:00  Lecture: “Elegance and Innovation in Early New England Glassmaking,” Mary C. Mills, Historic Glass Specialist, Cultural Resources Management, AECOM

12:15  Lunch

2:00  Lecture: “Richard Brunton—Engraver to Early America –Legitimate and Otherwise,” Deborah M. Child, Author, Lecturer and Independent Curator

3:00  Break

3:30  Demonstration: “The Art and Craft of Copperplate Engraving,” Andrew Raftery, Professor of Printmaking, Rhode Island School of Design

5:30  Reception

6:45  Dinner on own or prix fixe dinner at the Deerfield Inn

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8:30  Coffee and refreshments

9:30  Lecture: “’Rich and Tasty’ Vermont Furniture: Revolution to Reinvention,” Philip Zea, President, Historic Deerfield

10:30  Break

11:00  Lecture: “Inspiration/Innovation: Exemplary Furniture on The Street,” Christine Ritok, Associate Curator, Historic Deerfield

11:30  Lecture: “The ‘Yankee Peddler’: Notes Toward a Multicultural Perspective,” Peter Benes, Director of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife


2:00  Optional Guided Tour: “Exploring Historic Deerfield’s Collection of New England Folk Portraiture: Paintings, Drawings, Watercolors, and Silhouettes,” Flynt Center of Early New England Life

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