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.
We often say that the paintings that hang above the doors in the Collection Gallery deserve a special tour to draw attention to them. Horace Pippin’s Abraham Lincoln and His Father Building Their Cabin on Pigeon Creek (BF978) hangs in Room 5 over the doorway to the north garden hallway. As Lincoln’s birthday is on February 12 and Pippin’s is on February 22, it seems like the appropriate place to embark upon our first “over-the-door collection tour.”