Art Conservation as Forensic Science

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We look at art conservation as a forensic science. Guggenheim Museum conservationist Carol Stringari recently used a severely damaged Ad Reinhardt painting, "Black Painting, 1960–66," that had been deemed all but destroyed to develop new conservation techniques! A Guggenheim exhibit, "Imageless," explores the scientific study and experimental treatment of Reinhardt’s damaged painting.

The Guggenheim is hosting a symposium for "Imageless"
Sept. 13, 10AM-5PM
Featuring forensic scientists, conservators, artists, art historians, curators, and other art and science professionals
For tickets and more information, go to


Carol Stringari

Comments [6]

Julie from Hastings-on-Hudson

Ad Reinhardt did a small version of the Black Painting for his friend and fellow Columbia alum, the writer/monk/hermit Thomas Merton,M1.

Aug. 27 2008 02:00 PM
Barbara from manhattan

A reply to Daphne: They didn't destroy Reinhardt's painting - the piece in the exhibit that was cut up was the mock-up made by the conservators. If you listen to the interview, and watch the film carefully, you will learn that the laser treatments only removed material added by previous "restorers." All of Reinhardt's original paint is still there.

Aug. 27 2008 01:59 PM
george osai from Canarsie Brooklyn NY

Leonard Lopate' studio voice, at times, sounds like an echo or reverberation.
This is most noticeable during the interview segment of the show.
Acoustic treatments in the interviewing area would help to alleviate this effect.


Aug. 27 2008 01:07 PM
Ted Victoria from NY

Who is Joe Zilinski, or is that an anti Polish slur?

Aug. 27 2008 12:56 PM
David Hume from Staten Island, NY

Leonard is in his element. He's Old School. He must be friends with all these painters?

Aug. 27 2008 12:55 PM
Daphne Peterson from New York

What they should have done was tested their new methods on a "dummy" Reinhardt (which they do create and initially experiment with in the exhib's accompanying film), and THEN saved the painting, rather than totally and utterly destroying it, as they did, by cutting it up and submitting it to flawed restoration methods. While I applaud their efforts in exploring these new methods, it was stupid and senseless to rip up and further deface the painting - and then exhibit it up on a rack like St. Sebastian, bearing its wounds for all the world to see.

Aug. 27 2008 09:31 AM

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