Ann Hoenigswald, Senior Conservator of Paintings Emerita, National Gallery of Art
Free; ticket required
Edgar Degas was a particularly experimental 19th-century artist. Close technical study of his paintings, graphic work, and sculptures reveals his eccentric choice of materials and unconventional manipulation of media. Degas was known to rework his pictures, often decades after initially considering them finished, and often approached his artworks as if they were works in progress. Frequently, he left clues on the surface to expose these changes, but on occasion only with technical imaging can the embedded layers be deciphered. This lecture explores these aspects of his paintings and delves into his process, his use of materials, and the complicated issue of finish.
A conservator of paintings at the National Gallery for more than 40 years, Ann Hoenigswald focuses on the treatment and technical studies of 19th- and early 20th-century paintings, with a particular interest in artists’ process, intended surfaces, and the issue of finish. Her research and publications are often in collaboration with curators and academic art historians. She is currently an invited Museum Scholar at the Getty Research Institute working on Degas.
This lecture is held in conjunction with the exhibition Degas and the Laundress: Women, Work, and Impressionism.