Today, techniques that are grounded in science allow us to uncover forgeries, predict aging, attribute work to a specific artist, preserve ailing pieces and restore works closer to their original states. Many works in collections have been altered by time or purposefully manipulated. This exhibit re-examines works of art to uncover what might be hiding in plain sight or just below the surface.
Traces offers an inside look at the methods used to reveal the secrets of artworks, ranging from X-rays and infrared light to solvents that remove varnish. Compare side-by-side before and after images, or see if you can identify what in a work has been altered. The exhibition features the optional use of ultraviolet light.
Featuring works by John Sell Cotman, Susan Macdowell Eakins, Robert Henri Fouques, Marion Greenwood, Frans Hals (school of), Eastman Johnson, William Keith, Endre Komaromi-Kacz, Georges Michel, Mary Jane Peale, Dona Simons, Worthington Whittredge and Richard Wilson.
Admission is free. The gallery, located in William Rolland Stadium, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Image: John Sell Cotman (British, 1782-1842), a Bit of Norwich, 25 x 39 inches. Courtesy of the Ann Bittl Collection.