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Ultraviolet (UV) light is harmful. It’s bad for our eyes, bad for our skin, and, unsurprisingly, bad for paper objects. The windows and lights at CCAHA filter UV light, and the glazing we use in frames protects artifacts from the wavelength. But in certain controlled circumstances, UV light can be...
The most famous photograph of Sigmund Freud depicts the psychoanalyst standing with his signature cigar in a stark, chiaroscuro contrapposto. Perhaps fittingly for Freud, the portrait was actually taken by a relative: his son -in -law, a man named Max Halberstadt. Halberstadt —who’d married Freud’s...
The name Salvador Dalí often conjures up images completely removed from reality—melting clocks, spindle-legged elephants, or disembodied limbs. But a recent treatment at the Center reminded us that the works of Dalí were far more nuanced than we often think, toying with reality in different and...
Books are often no match for the rigors of childhood play, so it comes as no surprise that children’s literature poses unique challenges to conservators. Rogue marginal and interlinear additions need to be excised, torn pages repaired, and all manner of cuts and scrapes mended. These days, many...
At first glance, it may seem contradictory that celebrated artist Chuck Close is best known for his large-scale portraits. Close has prosopagnosia, which means that he has trouble recognizing faces—even those of people he has known for years. But flattening out a face through the process of painting...
A couple from the Philadelphia area was wandering through the shops in London’s Kensington district, perusing old maps and prints, when the two came across a piece of history that reminded them of home: an aquatint and etching by T. Cartwright called Philadelphia, from the Great Tree at Kensington ....
Less commonplace today—maybe because they never unstuck cleanly from the not-so-tasty backing paper—Candy Buttons were once a childhood staple. The colorful dots of sugar came in three flavors, lemon, lime, and cherry, arrayed in rows of four. “Candy Bottoms,” a work reminiscent of the candy (but...
The owner of this crayon enlargement portrait had always admired it while it hung, for as long as she can remember, in her aunt’s home in Camden County, North Carolina. In the 1980s, she finally asked her aunt if she could have it. “I asked my aunt, ‘who is it?’, and she said it was her grandmother,...
In the 1864 engraving Reading the Emancipation Proclamation , a group of slaves, possibly generations of a family, listens in joy and astonishment as a white Union soldier reads the presidential order granting their long-awaited freedom. One of the first prints of the era to depict African Americans...