For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Arts & Entertainment - Campus & Community

Restoring Treasures From The Drexel Collection

November 3, 2016

This globe, part of a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes donated to The Drexel Collection in 1975 by a member of the Drexel family, were conserved and restored to close to their original appearance in 2015 by Studio T.K.M.
This globe, part of a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes donated to The Drexel Collection in 1975 by a member of the Drexel family, were conserved and restored to close to their original appearance in 2015 by Studio T.K.M.

In 2012, The Drexel Collection, which dates back to the University’s 1891 founding, began a comprehensive conservation survey to identify certain pieces in need of conservation and select professional conservators to help repair and restore these objects. Over 50 pieces in the collection have since been conserved, including a range of objects from paintings and frames to clocks and furniture.

On Nov. 17, Lynn Clouser, the assistant director of The Drexel Collection, will host a lecture discussing some of those conservation projects that have been completed. The lecture will focus primarily on the treatment of a pair of celestial and terrestrial library globes and stands conserved by Studio TKM, Ltd. and paintings and frames conserved by Aella Diamantopoulos, a local conservator, on view in the current exhibition The Drexel Collection: Celebrating 125 Years in the Rincliffe Gallery. T. K. McClintock, FAIC FAAR FIIC, conservator of fine art and works on paper at Studio TKM and Aella Diamantopoulos, a local painting and frame conservator, will also participate in the discussion.

Several factors go into the selection process for the conservation of objects in the collection, including historical value, condition and importance to maintaining the history of Drexel and The Drexel Collection. The majority of the pieces conserved and scheduled for conservation over the next year consist of donations from the 1890s; portraits by Francis Martin Drexel, a painter and the father of University founder Anthony J. Drexel; and early University furnishings including the desk of the first president of the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry, James MacAlister, and a table owned by Drexel’s founder.

The “before” and “after” images of the painting “Isle of Sylt” (1879) by Eugene Gustav Dücker.
The “before” and “after” images of the painting “Isle of Sylt” (1879) by Eugene Gustav Dücker.
 

The importance of conservation of collection objects can be seen in the “before” and “after” images of the painting “Isle of Sylt” (1879) by Eugene Gustav Dücker, a famed 19th century painter associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. The discoloration of the varnish and the dirt accumulated on the surface distorted the appearance of the painting, making the scene appear dark and foreboding. After the varnish was removed and the surface was cleaned, a whole new painting was revealed — with clearer colors and a much brighter take on the scene. 

The conservation of the Dücker seascape and the three other Dücker paintings donated by John D. Lankenau, among others, is an ongoing project by The Drexel Collection to return these paintings to the walls of the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery.

The care and preservation of The Drexel Collection will continue with not only the individual treatment of objects, but through preventive conservation by upgrading the storage and display environments and continued best practices for collection management to comply with the current museum standards. The lecture will be held in the Anthony J. Drexel Picture Gallery located on the 3rd floor of the Main Building on Nov. 17 from 6:30–9:00 p.m. The Rincliffe Gallery is located outside the gallery with the exhibition The Drexel Collection: Celebrating 125 Years on view through Jan. 4.

For more information please contact assistant director Lynn Clouser at 215.895.2414 or lynn.c.clouser@drexel.edu.

Topical Tags:

art

The Drexel Collection