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What’s possibly the most calming yet nerve-racking job in the world? Come behind the scenes of the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art to find out!
The conservation and scientific research of ancient Asian art takes a large team of experts from many fields. In order to bring thousands of treasures from the East to the galleries of the Smithsonian in downtown Washington, D.C., several critical and careful steps toward ensuring the objects’ continued longevity must be taken.
Learn more about the hard work taking place to keep these works alive and on display here.
Mark Savage writing for BBC News Entertainment & Arts reports that -
When Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands officially reopens the Rijksmuseum [this] week, it will mark the end of a painful restoration project. The work ran five years over schedule and millions of euros over budget. The Dutch state museum has been closed since 2003. Renovation was delayed by flooding, asbestos and a dispute over access for cyclists. “It was kind of Murphy’s Law,” says museum director Wim Pijbes. “What could go wrong did go wrong.”
On Wednesday, Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid was rehung, making it the last major work to return to the museum in the heart of Amsterdam. The old masters draw the eye, but so do the intricately decorated ceilings and pillars that frame them – all painstakingly recreated after being painted over in the post-war years. In the halls flanking the grand gallery, the decoration is more modern. British artist Richard Wright, a former Turner Prize winner, has dusted the ceilings with almost 50,000 stars, hand-painted in a swirling, shifting constellation. It all serves to set up the Rijksmuseum’s biggest star – Rembrandt’s Night Watch.
The museum is newly illuminated by 3,800 individual LED lights, which lack the paint-destroying heat and UV rays of incandescent bulbs. They were installed by Dutch lighting specialists Philips, who also claim the LEDs enhance the viewing experience. “Incandescent lights focus on ambers and reds,” says the company’s chief design officer, Rogier van der Heide. “The LED adds a beautiful return of the blues and greens. The cooler colours are clearer… So we get to see the full beauty of the colour spectrum.”
Gold and niello panel with Anglo-Saxon animal interlace
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is today one huge step closer to creating a permanent home for its Staffordshire Hoard display after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced it has awarded the venue £704,500 towards the creation of a Staffordshire Hoard Gallery.
First objects from the Staffordshire Hoard went on temporary display at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in September 2009, two months after the Hoard was first discovered in a Staffordshire field. Objects from the Hoard have been on continuous display at the venue since March 2010 and have attracted more than 590,000 visitors from all over the world since then. However, there is not currently a permanent gallery for the Hoard at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
The HLF award represents significant progress in the campaign to raise the funds needed to create a permanent gallery for the Hoard. The proposed gallery will showcase approximately 300 items from the 7th century treasure trove and will interpret the story of the Hoard and its context within Anglo-Saxon history and culture. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the story of the Staffordshire Hoard, from the creation and original use of the items within it to the thrilling story of its rediscovery and conservation.