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Subject: Varnish


From: Gay Myers <pgmye>
Date: Monday, March 25, 2002
Lance Mayer and I are studying varnishing preferences, especially
those of American Impressionist painters.  We have found (so far)
three inscriptions on the backs of paintings by the American
Impressionist Willard Leroy Metcalf which say "Do Not Varnish," and
the compiler of the Metcalf catalogue raisonnie tells us there may
be more. In one inscription, Metcalf explains at some length the
kinds of changes that varnishing might make to his painting.

Have any conservators found these kinds of inscriptions on the backs
of paintings by Metcalf, or on paintings by other American
Impressionists?  If so, we would love to know the exact texts, and
details about the kinds of paintings they appear on--for instance,
whether the paintings are light or dark in tonality, and whether
they have in fact remained unvarnished.

We would also like to hear about oral, written, or any other kinds
of evidence of the varnishing habits of painters of this period.

Gay Myers
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
New London, CT  06320

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:65
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 26, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-65-017
Received on Monday, 25 March, 2002

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