Presentation Title

Keynote Address by Dr. Melanie Gifford

Presenter Information

Melanie Gifford

Location

McMaster Museum of Art 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6

Start Date

10-12-2015 7:35 PM

End Date

10-12-2015 9:00 PM

Description

Dr. Melanie Gifford, a Research Conservator for Painting Technology within the Scientific Research Department at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, will deliver her talk, “Reattribution of an early work by Willem van Aelst: the role of technical studies”, which addresses the use of technical evidence to reattribute a Dutch 17th century still-life. After long being attributed by Willem Kalf, Dr. Gifford, through the employment of scientific techniques, reattributed the painting Willem van Aelst; a finding that was originally made in the context of the exhibition on Van Aelst in 2013. Dr. Gifford has furthered this research by examining the fruition of both of these artists’ personal styles from their time spent, in the earliest portion of their careers, within a circle of Paris-based painters in the 1640s and 1650s.

Comments

About E. Melanie Gifford, Research Conservator (National Gallery of Art), Visiting Lecturer (University of Delaware)

Melanie Gifford has taught techniques of microscopic paint analysis for the Art Conservation Program since 1981. She is employed as Research Conservator for Painting Technology in the Scientific Research Department of the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Her research uses technical analysis of painting materials and techniques to consider the relationship between style and technique in the artistic decision-making process. Her primary focus is on the art of Northern Europe from the 15th through the 17th centuries: her publications include studies of Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Georges de La Tour, Jan van Goyen, and Jan van Eyck. Gifford has also carried out studies on works by other artists, ranging from Veronese to Manet. She earned an M.A. in Art History from Williams College in 1976. She earned an M.A. in Art Conservation in 1979 from the S.U.N.Y./Cooperstown program in Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, interning at The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, with additional training in the Scientific Department at the National Gallery, London. From 1979 to 1992 she was a practicing painting conservator at The Walters, specializing in the treatment of European easel paintings on panel and canvas, and carrying out technical research. In 1992 she joined the National Gallery, turning exclusively to research. In 1997 she received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a dissertation on the development of naturalistic landscape in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century.

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Dec 10th, 7:35 PM Dec 10th, 9:00 PM

Keynote Address by Dr. Melanie Gifford

McMaster Museum of Art 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6

Dr. Melanie Gifford, a Research Conservator for Painting Technology within the Scientific Research Department at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, will deliver her talk, “Reattribution of an early work by Willem van Aelst: the role of technical studies”, which addresses the use of technical evidence to reattribute a Dutch 17th century still-life. After long being attributed by Willem Kalf, Dr. Gifford, through the employment of scientific techniques, reattributed the painting Willem van Aelst; a finding that was originally made in the context of the exhibition on Van Aelst in 2013. Dr. Gifford has furthered this research by examining the fruition of both of these artists’ personal styles from their time spent, in the earliest portion of their careers, within a circle of Paris-based painters in the 1640s and 1650s.