Before it was possible to purchase commercially prepared paints and pigments, artists and craftsmen relied on materials found in their environment, like berries, clay, and minerals, to color their art.
As the Senior Conservator of Objects at the Barnes Foundation, I have come to know the three-dimensional objects in the collection fairly well over the five years I have worked here. However, there is always more to learn, and it is rewarding to have an opportunity to work with researchers and scholars who visit the Foundation to study the collection. They often are able to reveal historical information or special aspects of an object about which we were unaware.
I had the pleasure of collaborating on a program called Crossing Boundaries this year that invited middle school students from Philadelphia’s schools to study the unique and multicultural displays at the Barnes Foundation.