Entries by Ruth

Holding the Public’s Interest: The Show of Art Conservation

Ruth Osborne We reported a few years ago on the well-publicized (and well-sponsored) treatment of large canvases by Jackson Pollock from the MoMA (NYC) and Seattle Art Museum collections.  These were Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950, and his Sea Change (1947), respectively. In the case of the SAM restoration, it was asserted this work was in “danger of […]

Who Gets the Conservation Dollars??

Ruth Osborne The Bank of America Conservation funding program has been lauded for providing large numbers of museums around the world with grant money to restore works in their collections. This program has been going on since 2010 (see here for our earlier background article). While no numbers or even estimates of these funds is […]

Another Loss for Arts Stewardship: La Salle’s Sale

Ruth Osborne The art world seems to be laughing (or crying?) at yet another museum’s plan to sell a large chunk of important masterworks from its collection in order to add to their endowment to benefit something other than its art. La Salle University, founded 1863 in Philadelphia, has had a museum on its campus since […]

Fragonard’s Layers & the Promotion of Conservation Treatments

Ruth Osborne X-Rays. Lasers. Multi-Spectral Imaging. We’ve posted on these before: how newly developed technologies like the Er:YAG laser are promoted with such “promising” results, despite persisting doubts from other conservation professionals as well as publications on the risks of its application. At ArtWatch UK, past coverage has highlighted the business interests involved in conservation […]

Museum Mismanagement On Trial: The Berkshire Museum Taken to Court.

Ruth Osborne Thomas Wilmer Dewing, The White Dress, 1901. Courtesy: Berkshire Fine Arts. The story of the Berkshire Museum’s massive deaccession sale and change of mission over the past 5 months has been one that mirrors a rapidly tottering see-saw.   We reported a few months back on the Berkshire Museum’s planned sale of 40 […]

Satellite Museum Dreams and Misgivings in Abu Dhabi

Ruth Osborne The long-awaited opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum is actually happening. On November 11th, the site is set to open to fan-fare: “workshops, tours, music, and international performances and a few surprises along the way”.   This is all thanks to generous loans from the Musée du Louvre in Paris, a lending […]


Remembering the Consequences of Mishandling Art.

Ruth Osborne Every so often it is useful – indeed, instructing – to take a glance at the current environment in the art world and see what recent developments show about what the future holds. For ArtWatch, this means considering again the consequences of collections across the country that we have seen dismembered or mishandled over the past few […]


The Conservation Laundering of Illicit Antiquities

Einav Zamir Marion True, former curator of antiquities at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles [Fig. 2], once hailed as the “heroic warrior against plunder,” [1] was indicted in 2005 for violations against Italy’s cultural patrimony laws.[2] True became the first American curator to face such charges [3] — not coincidentally, it was also the […]