National Gallery of Art Restores Gilbert Stuart Portraits of Founding Fathers

  • Independent conservator Gay Myers removing the varnish from Gilbert Stuart's Abigail Smith Adams (Mrs.  John Adams), (1800/1815).  National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mrs.  Robert Homans

    Independent conservator Gay Myers removing the varnish from Gilbert Stuart's Abigail Smith Adams (Mrs. John Adams), (1800/1815). National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mrs. Robert Homans

The National Gallery of Art's portraits of George Washington and John Adams are among a select group of 16 Federal-era paintings in its collection by American master Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828) that are being conserved.

A team of conservators are removing varnishes that have discolored with age, old retouchings that do not match the original paint, and structural problems such as cracks in the paint.

Discolored varnish removed from Stuart's portraits of John and Abigail Adams, begun in 1800 but not finished until 1815, exposed fresh new detail in the faces and clothing.

"The conservation work to date has resulted in major improvements in the appearance of the paintings and has greatly increased the stability of the paint layers. A wonderful group of historically significant portraits will soon be available for exhibition," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art.

Several of the newly restored portraits will be unveiled in the installation of Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830, opening on October 7, 2012.

More News Feed Headlines

Rendering for 666 Fifth Avenue

Zaha Hadid Architects Unveils Skyscraper Plans for Kushner Companies at 666 Fifth Avenue

  • March 28, 2017 15:24

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled plans for a Kushner Companies skyscraper at 666 Fifth Avenue, ...

Read More

N.C.  Wyeth's Island Funeral

3 Museums Receive Gifts of Artwork from DuPont Collection

  • March 23, 2017 12:16

Prior to its merger with Dow Chemical, DuPont Co. is gifting nearly two dozen works by N.C., ...

Read More

Clare McAndrew

Art Basel's 2017 Global Art Market Report Released

  • March 22, 2017 14:09

In Hong Kong, Art Basel and UBS released The Art Market, a new annual global art market analysis ...

Read More

U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) repatriated five illegally smuggled ancient artifacts to the government of Egypt, including a mummy hand from the 8th century BCE, in Dec.  2016.

U.S. Received Influx of $100 Million in Artifacts from Egypt and Turkey in 2016

  • March 22, 2017 13:50

Live Science reports that about $50 million in artifacts were shipped from each Egypt and Turkey ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire