...designing Georgian Britain

posted on 18 Sep 2013 20:16 by Elena Pinto Simon
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Gallery Director Nina Stritzler-Levine and co-curators Susan Weber and Julius Bryant led a wonderful workshop on September 12th about the William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain installation currently underway in the Main Gallery at 18. The very busy gallery staff took time from their hectic schedule to spend an evening with students and faculty outlining some of the major issues that are posed when bringing an exhibition of this nature to the BGC.

The Kent exhibit opens later this week, and the gallery was humming with activities as we gathered on the second floor to hear V& A conservator Nigel Bamforth walk the students through some of the conservation issues the show contains. Co-Curator (and our founder and director) Susan Weber has been working on this topic for many years, and has been involved in an array of connoisseurial detective work as she researched and put the exhibit together with our V and A partners and colleagues.

Under Nigel Bamforth’s guidance, the students closely observed the condition of some of the objects about to go on display and discussed the kinds of conversations that would typically happen between a conservator and a curator, and what goes into determining which objects are safe to travel, and why.

With the help of the art handlers, Co-Curator Julius Bryant gave the students a first-hand lesson in determining not just authenticity of some of the pieces of furniture, but what kinds of interventions might have been made in early repair work, with fragile pieces, at what periods, and with what materials.

It was a wonderful lesson in the art and science of handling, conserving and curating the work of a major figure whose life’s achievements are being celebrated by this exhibition, the centerpiece of the BGC’s twentieth anniversary celebrations.

William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, opens to the public on Friday, September 20th at the BGC Main Gallery (18 West 86th Street).