Blue Boy Conservation Exhibition

The exhibition “Project Blue Boy” will open at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens on Sept. 22, 2018, offering visitors a glimpse into the technical processes of a senior conservator working on the famous painting as well as background on its history, mysteries, and artistic virtues.

For the first three to four months during the year-long exhibition, The Blue Boy will be on public view in a special satellite conservation studio set up in the west end of the Thornton Portrait Gallery, where Christina O’Connell, senior paintings conservator working on the painting and co-curator of the exhibition, will work on the painting to continue examination and analysis, as well as begin paint stabilization, surface cleaning, and removal of non-original varnish and overpaint.

It then will go off view for another three to four months while she performs structural work on the canvas and applies varnish with equipment that can’t be moved to the gallery space. Once structural work is complete, The Blue Boy will return to the gallery where visitors can witness the inpainting process until the close of the exhibition.

During the two periods when the painting is in the gallery, O’Connell will work in public view on regularly scheduled days and times. For the first in-gallery period, from Sept. 22 through January 2019 (estimated), visitors can watch the process each Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m., and on the first Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m.

“Project Blue Boy” will be accompanied by an array of public programs, including scholarly lectures, curator tours, and family activities. Also, specially trained docents will be stationed in the gallery throughout the run of the exhibition to illuminate the project and answer questions.
The Huntington 
1151 Oxford Rd.
San Marino, Calif.

Open to the public Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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