A Fresh Look at Eighteenth-Century Portraits

Details from the portrait of Anna Cuyler Van Schaick (1908.9.4.2) showing her left hand before (left) and after (right) conservation treatment. This portrait was painted in 1720 and is 300 years old.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2020—MARCH 14, 2021

With support from the Stockman Family Foundation, the Williamstown Art Conservation Center was awarded nearly $238,000 to conserve thirty-one of the Albany Institute’s earliest Hudson Valley portraits dating from the first half of the eighteenth century.

The exhibition focuses on a small group of these portraits to highlight the process of conserving works of art that are close to three hundred years old. Detailed photographs accompany the portraits to show before and after results of conservation and offer visitors a chance to see conservators working at various stages throughout the process. The results of conservation reveal much about the materials artists used, their techniques and painting procedures, and what has been lost and revealed anew through conservation treatment.

Exhibition Support

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Program and exhibition support is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The leading sponsor for this exhibition is Ten Eyck Bronk Powell III. Major support is provided by Douglas L. Cohn, D.V.M. Season exhibition support is provided by Phoebe Powell Bender, Mr. and Mrs. George R. Hearst III, Charles M. Liddle III, Lois & David Swawite, and the Carl E. Touhey Foundation, Inc.

 The Albany Institute also wishes to acknowledge the Stockman Family Foundation and the Williamstown Art Conservation Center for their generosity and professional high standards in this important project.