MOBA Finishing Touches

Internet, meet Yolima, our Curator of Gardens. She is from Colombia and has no trouble keeping us on task. She oversaw the finishing touches today, and I am happy to report that we are ready for tomorrow’s opening (6 PM!)

[Funny story: we have a lot of geese at the Hermitage; they waddle around the gardens and are generally the bane of Yolima’s existence. One time I told her I was going to feed them bread (knowing it would get a rise out of her) and she looked at me with the scariest eyes I have ever seen and said, “I KILL YOU” — a simple threat which has since become a museum catchphrase. Left your dishes in the sink? I KILL YOU. Didn’t recycle your paper? I KILL YOU, etc.]

Anyways, sorry for the long tangent but I feel that story bears repeating. Here is the item of the day:

Julia in Yellow
Helen M. Turner
1928
Oil on canvas

The subject of this portrait is Turner’s longtime muse, Julia Polk. The daughter of a friend at Cragsmoor – Turner’s summer home in upstate New York – Julia figures prominently in many of Turner’s finest paintings including Alice in Wonderland, currently on loan to the Dixon Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee. Like many of Turner’s portraits, Julia in Yellow conveys a tangible vitality.  While she may not be heavily animated, her posture and facial expression suggests a sense of affable quiet.  There is a definite reality to Turner’s style of impressionism that is more inviting than typical period pieces.  She does not, however, allow this realism to take over the painting. Instead, vibrant explosions of orange and red materialize into blossoming flowers, while the background colors thaw and gently trickle down the canvas blurring out any distinct veracity.  It is a characteristic of Turner that makes her style so unique and engaging.

Conservation Needs:
Examination and solvent tests, surface clean to remove dust and grime, re-varnish surface, corrective reframing and installation of a backing board, surface clean frame, photography and written documentation

Conservation Cost:
$850

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