The Barnes collection includes 12 works by French artist Maurice Utrillo (1883–1955). Here in the Barnes conservation department, I recently completed the conservation treatment of a painting by Utrillo, Street: Red Tower in Room 23 of the Collection Gallery.
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.