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

Affresco della Madonna in trono con Bambino benedicente - Santuario dell'Icona Passatora (Amatrice)

Proceeds From Museum Visits in Italy on Sunday to Help Repair Quake Damage

  • August 25, 2016 13:11

The deadly magnitude-6.2 earthquake that struck central Italy on Wednesday devastated the ...

Read More

"Dance: American Art 1830-1960" cover

Discover Dance-Inspired American Art in Traveling Exhibition, Catalog

  • August 24, 2016 21:26

On view now through Oct. 2, 2016, at the Denver Art Museum is a traveling exhibition centered on ...

Read More

Artist Peter Doig

Artist Peter Doig Wins Trial Over Authentication of His Own Work

  • August 24, 2016 21:26

Scottish-born artist Peter Doig has won a long and strange trial over artwork authentication --- ...

Read More

The "Portrait of a Child" on left is thought to be by de Kooning.  Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce host BBC's "Fake or Fortune?"

Portrait Bought Online for $500 Deemed a Lost De Kooning

  • August 24, 2016 21:26

On the BBC series Fake or Fortune? art expert Philip Mould helped a Belgian couple discover that ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire