Member Events in Seattle and Los Angeles

In early November, 2017, the Trust managed to fit a West Coast excursion into our action-packed calendar with the aim of providing our constituents in California and Washington some well-deserved attention. Kristina traveled to Seattle and Los Angeles to host events for members in each city that highlighted local decorative arts collections.

Seattle-based Trust members were treated to an intimate curator-led tour of the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) exhibit Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China. The installation was organized by Ping Foong, the Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, and explores a variety of luxury items used by Chinese elite during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Foong discussed aspects of play in the pastimes of the aristocracy and the sensorial experiences they would incorporate in their daily rituals, such as bird and cricket cages that transported the sounds associated with the outdoors to the interior of a home.

The group also ventured to the atelier of Richard Boerth. As a third-generation carver, gilder, and restorer, a passion for the decorative arts seem to coarse through Boerth’s veins. A gilding demonstration underscored his dedication to the craft of frame making and restoration. Boerth partners with collectors and museums across the country, and his gallery and workshop are extraordinary.

Kristina flew south to Los Angeles and greeted California-based members for curator and conservator-led tours at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Associate Conservator Michelle Sullivan welcomed participants to the Works on Paper Lab and discussed highlights from the works on paper collection, including a Rembrandt, a Durer, and a Klimt still housed in its original frame! Our group was fascinated to learn about Michelle’s process when assessing a print or drawing’s need for conservation. Associate Conservator Sue Ann Chu received the group at the Paintings Conservation Lab and presented her most recent undertaking: the treatment of an early Italian Renaissance tempera on wood panel painting completed by a follower of Giotto.

In the Decorative Arts Conservation Lab, conservator Jane Basset and intern Jessica Chasen shared recent discoveries, including a cabinet by André-Charles Boulle that piqued a particular interest in those who attended our Spring Study Trip Abroad to Scotland. Likely commissioned by King Louis XIV in the late 17th century to commemorate his wartime victories, the cabinet’s twin presently resides in the Duke of Buccleuch’s Drumlanrig Castle. While the figures on the Getty cabinet were painted white with gesso by conservators in the 1970s, the figures on the Dumlanrig cabinet feature a vert antique finish in imitation of ancient bronze. The Getty’s conservation and curatorial teams are working closely together to determine the treatment applied in Boulle’s shop.

Charissa Bremmer-David, Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, shared expert insights on three stand-out pieces of furniture from their collection: the Borghese–Windsor Cabinet (c. 1620), the aforementioned Boulle Cabinet (c. 1675), and a double-sided desk by Bernard II van Risenburg (1750). Bremmer-David kindly opened each piece, thereby allowing our group to appreciate their superior craftmanship and design.

Our West Coast tours revealed regional resources for the decorative arts and introduced talented colleagues who help promote the study and preservation of exceptional objects. We are grateful for the support of our members and strive to provide additional programs throughout the year.

In early November, 2017, the Trust managed to fit a West Coast excursion into our action-packed calendar with the aim of providing our constituents in California and Washington some well-deserved attention. Kristina traveled to Seattle and Los Angeles to host events for members in each city that highlighted local decorative arts collections.

Seattle-based Trust members were treated to an intimate curator-led tour of the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) exhibit Pure Amusements: Wealth, Leisure, and Culture in Late Imperial China. The installation was organized by Ping Foong, the Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, and explores a variety of luxury items used by Chinese elite during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Foong discussed aspects of play in the pastimes of the aristocracy and the sensorial experiences they would incorporate in their daily rituals, such as bird and cricket cages that transported the sounds associated with the outdoors to the interior of a home.

The group also ventured to the atelier of Richard Boerth. As a third-generation carver, gilder, and restorer, a passion for the decorative arts seem to coarse through Boerth’s veins. A gilding demonstration underscored his dedication to the craft of frame making and restoration. Boerth partners with collectors and museums across the country, and his gallery and workshop are extraordinary.

Kristina flew south to Los Angeles and greeted California-based members for curator and conservator-led tours at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Associate Conservator Michelle Sullivan welcomed participants to the Works on Paper Lab and discussed highlights from the works on paper collection, including a Rembrandt, a Durer, and a Klimt still housed in its original frame! Our group was fascinated to learn about Michelle’s process when assessing a print or drawing’s need for conservation. Associate Conservator Sue Ann Chu received the group at the Paintings Conservation Lab and presented her most recent undertaking: the treatment of an early Italian Renaissance tempera on wood panel painting completed by a follower of Giotto.

In the Decorative Arts Conservation Lab, conservator Jane Basset and intern Jessica Chasen shared recent discoveries, including a cabinet by André-Charles Boulle that piqued a particular interest in those who attended our Spring Study Trip Abroad to Scotland. Likely commissioned by King Louis XIV in the late 17th century to commemorate his wartime victories, the cabinet’s twin presently resides in the Duke of Buccleuch’s Drumlanrig Castle. While the figures on the Getty cabinet were painted white with gesso by conservators in the 1970s, the figures on the Dumlanrig cabinet feature a vert antique finish in imitation of ancient bronze. The Getty’s conservation and curatorial teams are working closely together to determine the treatment applied in Boulle’s shop.

Charissa Bremmer-David, Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, shared expert insights on three stand-out pieces of furniture from their collection: the Borghese–Windsor Cabinet (c. 1620), the aforementioned Boulle Cabinet (c. 1675), and a double-sided desk by Bernard II van Risenburg (1750). Bremmer-David kindly opened each piece, thereby allowing our group to appreciate their superior craftmanship and design.

Our West Coast tours revealed regional resources for the decorative arts and introduced talented colleagues who help promote the study and preservation of exceptional objects. We are grateful for the support of our members and strive to provide additional programs throughout the year.

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