European drawings from the late 1300s to the 1800s.
European drawings from the late 1300s to the 1800s, or old master drawings, were handled by artists and later by collectors. With this handling -along with poor storage and display conditions- they show the passage of time, often with distracting damage. This exhibition of 30 drawings illustrates how paper conservators reduce the effects of handling with treatments such as filling losses, reducing stains and mold, and repairing tears. It also reveals the secrets conservators discover, including unknown drawings hidden beneath mounts or watermarks that help determine the date of the paper. Present-day paper conservation differs from restoration practice of earlier centuries; in general, today's conservators work in subtler, less invasive ways, using methods that are reversible. Their respect for the original intent of the artist allows viewers to focus on the beauty of the design-not the damage.