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Behind the scenes at major art museums, conservators are hard at work, keeping masterpieces looking their best. Their methods are meticulous — and sometimes surprising.

The painting conservation studio at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is filled with priceless works sitting on row after row of tall wooden easels, or lying on big, white-topped worktables.

The studio is where I first met Senior Conservator Ann Hoenigswald years ago as she was fixing the sky on one of Claude Monet’s impressions of the Rouen Cathedral in France. Bits of paint had flaked off over time, and Hoenigswald was carefully mixing her blue to match the old master’s. Seeing the painting outside of its fancy frame, it felt like being inside the artist’s studio. (I greatly wanted to try my hand at filling in some tiny bare spot in Money’s sky, which had once been covered by paint. Of course, the thoroughly professional Hoenigswald politely refused to hand over her brush.)

Conservators must take classes in studio art, art history and chemistry. Sometimes guidance comes from artists themselves. For example, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo, asking for specific shades of paint — Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Geranium Lake. Painters in earlier centuries rarely left such clues.

With Chemistry And Care, Conservators Keep Masterpieces Looking Their Best

Photos: Liam James Doyle/NPR

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Trilobites appeared in ancient oceans well before life emerged on land. These marine arthropods existed for almost 300 million years, and over 20,000 species have been described so far. In this video, Museum Curator Neil Landman and Field Associates Andy Secher and Martin Shugar discuss trilobites, their unique features, and how fossils are collected and prepared while highlighting a new Museum exhibit that features 15 rare and beautiful trilobite fossils from the Museum’s collection.

Ancient trilobite fossils are now on display in the Museum’s Grand Gallery. The exhibit is made possible thanks to Martin Shugar, M.D., and Andy Secher.

So the museum has 52 cabinets that make it look like library and is full of specimens front and back but due to the fact most specimens are light sensitive(and the fact the museum is techincally more geared to be a ‘rent a specimen’ for the researches that work in the lab connected to the museum) a lot of the cabinets are closed to the public but monthly different cabinets get a viewing window to change things up hence this marlin skull nearly giving me a spook

//PSA: there’s a temporary exhibition (June 22 - Sep 24) called TRANS* in Madrid at the Museum de América that focuses on “transsexuality from different perspectives - anthropological, historical and artistic”.
It’s absolutely worth a visit! If you have the chance go check it out!//

[picture credit: exhibition booklet; based on a transgender figure from Moche (Peru), 100-750AD]

variety.com
George Lucas’ Museum of Narrative Art Gets Greenlight From Los Angeles City Council
George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson spoke to the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday as they gave their unanimous approval to the Museum of Narrative Art, the $1 billion project to be built in…
By Ted Johnson

Very cool! I am a huge fan of movie making. I love big blockbusters and indie documentaries. I really get into it lol. I am so into this new Museum Of Narrative Art and I can’t wait to get the chance to see George Lucas’ vast collection. 

Check the link for more information on this new project.