Painted around 1865 and purchased as part of the original Crocker Art Museum collection, The Harem Taking a Walk by 19th Century German painter Wilhelm Gentz needed a lot of love and attention when the BACC was asked to breathe renewed life in to it. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts funded the careful restoration work required to address the 140 years of gallery time and the painting's long stint in storage.
During the process, technical imaging and analysis revealed the artist had done something unusual to the painting, having scraped and repainted portions of the background, notably in the top left corner. It’s unknown why Gentz returned to the work in such an impromptu manner, but the result brings detail that may have been missing before. Especially beautiful, colorful reflections in the foreground water were revealed by the conservation, as well.
The Crocker Art Museum developed a curriculum enrichment guide around this restoration to help introduce students to the process of art conservation. It can be viewed here.
(Text adapted from the Crocker Museum of Art Facebook page)
BACC was featured in San Diego Home & Garden's "Saving Time: A Guide to Conservators" piece.
"When works you've collected show signs of deterioration, you may need a conservator's help ..."
Read the original article, here.
"The artworks are beloved by that community and the artwork was saved by that community" Dana Springs, executive director of the City of San Diego's Commission for Arts and Culture (in 2014) said, referencing the paintings, murals, and other work from Aztec Brewing's rathskeller now housed at the Logan Heights Library.
In the late 80s, a group of concerned artists and citizens convinced the city to take ownership of these historic pieces after discovering that the building that once housed Aztec Brewery, a former gathering place in San Diego's Barrio Logan neighborhood, was to be demolished. Decades later, the city received a grant to help with their restoration, and after months of work by BACC's team, they can now be viewed at the Logan Heights Library.
Browse the collection of articles below to learn more about the amazing history of Aztec Brewery and BACC's role in treating this collection: