|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Sunday, July 31, 2016
|How Do You Frame a Masterpiece? Huntington's Blue Boy to get a new frame|
Famous Blue Boy will get a new frame.
By: Catherine Hess
SAN MARINO, CA.- In 1921, Henry and Arabella Huntington purchased what would become the most famous work of art in their collection: The Blue Boy (1770) by Thomas Gainsborough. Its celebrity rests on many factors, not least of which is the superb quality of the painting, with its brilliant brushwork and the frank earnestness of the boys gaze. Its priceat roughly $725,000was the highest ever paid for a work of art up to that time. The scandal provoked by its departure from Britain also increased its notoriety. The fact that it was exhibited at the National Gallery, London, after the art dealer Joseph Duveen sold it to the Huntingtons further expanded its fame.
So The Blue Boy is a big deal. But whats the story behind the famous paintings frame?
When the painting arrived in San Marino, The Blue Boys frame was likely the same one in which it was displayed by the previous owner, Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster. By 1938, the Huntingtons curator of art collections, Maurice Block, was ready to respond to complaints about the paintings bulky 19th-century frame. According to a memo written on May 6 of that year, We have cut down one of our old frames to put the Blue Boy into it.
The replacement frame appears to have been an extra supplied by Duveen and probably had been in storage for some time in the Huntington Art Gallery basement. This frame is of the so-called Carlo Maratta type, widely used in England from 1750 through the turn of the 20th century. In fact, several Duveen-supplied Maratta frames can be seen on paintings in The Huntingtons Thornton Portrait Gallery, including George Romneys portraits of Lady Beauchamp-Proctor, Jeremiah Milles, and Rose (Gardiner) Milles; and Gainsboroughs portrait of Elizabeth Beaufoy, later Elizabeth Pycroft. (Other frame patterns in the portrait gallery include the very finely carved Louis XV style frame around Pinkie and a French Regence style frame around Diana, Viscountess Crosbie by Reynolds.)
The Huntington recently began exploring ways to reframe The Blue Boy. We first approached Michael Gregory, frame specialist at Arnold Wiggins & Sons in London, a workshop specializing in the adaption and reproduction of antique frames. It supplies frames to the Royal Household and Londons National Portrait Gallery.
Noting that the frame around The Blue Boy appeared a bit heavy on the picture, Mr. Gregory suggested several 18th-century English frames as possible replacements. Working with Kevin Salatino, the Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Collections at The Huntington, I helped select a splendid Rococo example that complements the framing of Thomas Lawrences Pinkie.
Plans are now underway to reframe The Blue Boy by the end of November. The reframing is made possible by a gift from longtime Huntington donors Jim and Joan Caillouette.
October 27, 2013
"Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900" opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum
"Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis" on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
LACMA presents a new photography exhibition showcasing the Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection
Passport to Paris will take visitors on a Parisian voyage through 300 years of art history
Lee Harvey Oswald's wedding ring sold for $108,000 at NH-based auction house RR Auction
"Degas, Renoir, and Poetic Pastels" exhibition opens at the Cincinnati Art Museum
Exhibition of collages by renowned architect Richard Meier opens at Galerie Gmurzynska Zurich
Only UK exhibition of Viviane Sassen's highly distinctive work opens in Edinburgh
On the 40th anniversary of Bruce Lee's death, an archive of 26 of his items comes to auction
Leap of Faith: Wendell Castle exhibits at Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris
Folkert de Jong exhibits bronze sculptures at Middelheim Museum in Antwerp
Leslie Hindman's 20th Century Decorative Arts Sale realizes $1.23 million
How Do You Frame a Masterpiece? Huntington's Blue Boy to get a new frame
First solo exhibition in a museum by Los Angeles-based artist Linda Stark opens at Berkeley Art Museum
Los Angeles-based artist Richard Kraft presents a new body of work at the Laguna Art Museum
Vancouver Art Gallery presents the first major survey exhibition of iconic Haida artist Charles Edenshaw
Val Sears' "In Passing" opens at Alison Milne Gallery in Toronto
Survey celebrates Queensland photographer Richard Stringer
Lyon & Turnbull sell the Mother of Pearl Ewer owned by Lord Curzon, Viceroy to India for £70,850
Nationalmuseum and Swedavia bring art to the airport
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Western Australian Museum-led study discovers two new species of extinct kangaroos
2.- Mexican archeologists find canal under Maya pyramid: Gateway to afterlife?
3.- Drouot announces sale exclusively dedicated to Chanel jewellery
4.- Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet paintings seized in Malaysia graft probe
5.- First major U.S. exhibition of the "School of London" artists opens at the Getty
6.- Cambridge University: Parasites hitch ride down Silk Road
7.- World's largest collection of paper peepshows allocated to V&A
8.- "O'Keeffe, New York, and Modernism" at the Portland Museum of Art
9.- First museum exhibition devoted to the portraits of William Eggleston opens
10.- Rescued violins bring back Holocaust 'escape' tales
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.