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Yager Museum of Art & Culture at Hartwick College receives grant

The Yager Museum of Art & Culture at Hartwick College has received a $5,000 conservation grant from the Bay and Paul Foundations of New York City. The funding has been provided in support of the repair and preservation of “The Madonna of the Meadow,” an oil-on-panel painting originating from the Workshop of Giovanni Bellini, which included notable Renaissance master painters such as Titian.

“We are very grateful for the grant from the Bay and Paul Foundations, which allows us to complete conservation work on this exceptionally interesting and significant painting in our van Ess collection,” said Donna Anderson, museum coordinator. “After removal of yellow varnish and older restorations, the work of the original painter is visible and we now can get a glimpse of the painting as the piece would have been seen by 16th century viewers.”

This grant — along with a grant previously-received from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) and museum membership funding — has facilitated cleaning and repair of the Renaissance painting completed in June, 2012.

The final restoration reflects research conducted by the conservator about comparable details of Madonnas from the Venetian Renaissance, as well as analysis of the composition of the paint and the microscopic details that were not known before cleaning of the painting down to its original state. The conservation process removed centuries of damage, while revealing the original artist’s work in a way not possible before the project was undertaken.

The newly-conserved painting will be displayed at the Museum beginning in mid-August, 2012. By early 2013, the piece will be re-installed within the Art Treasures room at the Museum, accompanied by additional historical and scientific research that was completed on the painting throughout the past year.

In 1959 the Bay Foundation’s grants began to center on support for art museums, and in the mid-1980s, the Foundation’s grants for museums began to focus on collections care training. The grant to the Yager Museum of Art and Culture is the first grant that Hartwick has received from the Bay and Paul Foundations.

The Conservation Treatment Grant Program of Greater Hudson Heritage Network is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

For more information surrounding “The Madonna of the Meadow” restoration project, contact Donna Anderson, Museum Coordinator, The Yager Museum of Art & Culture at (607) 431-4423 or at [email protected].