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Collect, Care, Conserve, Curate: The Life of the Art Object

Image: Mexico, Teotihuacan. Incensario, A.D. 550-650. Late Xolalpan Phase. Ceramic, pigment, and mica. 27 9/16 in (70 cm). Gift of Daniel Friedenberg, 1989.27.

03/10/2017 to 07/23/2017
Curated by Jean Lancaster, Collections Manager

The Fralin Museum of Art has a permanent collection of art objects numbering close to 14,000. Behind-the-scenes stewardship is essential to maintaining accessibility of the collection for study, research, and teaching. Museum staff collaborate with specialist conservators, art historians, and materials scientists to maintain diversified collections care. This interdisciplinary process includes investigation into the creation and history of the art, thereby unraveling inherent and environmental-related impacts of deterioration and change during the life of the art object. 

This exhibition encompasses objects ranging from first-century Roman glass through twenty-first-century art, including a seventeenth-century Dutch portrait painting on panel with a hidden image. The majority of the selected objects have never been on view publicly, and present a rare opportunity for visitors to The Fralin. This multi-cultural exhibition is designed to encourage museum goers to participate in the methodology of visual analysis in the detection of materials, fabrication, deterioration, damage, and histories of previous repairs in order to discover the story of the object. 

The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is generously supported by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.

This exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and Ruth C. Cross. We would also like to thank our in-kind donors: WTJU 91.1 FM and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book.