Sep. 22, 2018–Sep. 30, 2019 Huntington Art Gallery
One of the most iconic artworks in British and American history, The Blue Boy, made around 1770 by English painter Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), undergoes its first major technical examination and conservation treatment in public view, in a special satellite conservation studio set up in the west end of the Thornton Portrait Gallery in the Huntington Art Gallery. "Project Blue Boy" offers 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 in the gallery as Christina O'Connell, The Huntington's senior paintings conservator, works on the painting to perform examination and analysis, as well as begin paint stabilization, surface cleaning, and removal of non-original varnish and overpaint. The painting 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. READ MORE . . .