Art Museum Internship, Uncategorized

ArH PAM Internship Week 10: Postmodern Art and some final thoughts.

Well, gang, it looks like this will be my last blog post for the Portland Art Museum internship. I’m still going to be working there as a volunteer there until all the print materials are nice and wrapped up, but as for my schooling, this is it. It’s been a great run, and I thank each and everyone you who followed this blog. I do invite you to stick around as there will be many more projects I’ll be working on, and I will be going to Florence, Italy here in a half a year.

Now then. Here’s what I helped preserve today:

Upon some further research, this is Derriere le Miroir, which was a popular French art magazine that ran from 1940’s after World War II to the 1980’s. The featured artist here is none other than Alexander Calder, whom I remembered learning a bit about from Art History 206. He was actually a sculptor more so than a print maker, as this lithographs would suggest, and his sculptures were actually more along the lines of what we in the art world would call “Kinetic Art.” Having studied mechanical engineering, he incorporated what he learned into his sculptures which involved suspended sculptures and mobiles.

This work here is very reminiscent of Pop art which was big during this time period (it was published in the 1960’s).

Pop art and postmodern art never really resonated with me, but this does:

The original outside covering the book came in is falling apart at the seams. Samantha, the museum’s art conservator, wasn’t present at the time, but looking at this now, I wonder if I should have asked her to use the gum adhesive to better add to the structural integrity of the case. I’m not sure if the case itself is made from acid-free paper like what the coverings are made from, and I’m going to guess not. This could be an inherent vice that will later need to be taken care of at a later time, but for now, it’s safe in the vault.

Some final thoughts

Preventative conservation, which is what I have been doing this whole term, is just as important as “restoration” of an item. Without the knowledge or means to preserve a piece of art as it is, as the artist originally intended, then things might as well degrade or perhaps worse: be restored again and again until it’s no longer the original piece.

I’m proud to have been asked to be part of this. While I wish I could have worked with the gold or paintings conservator in addition, I believe the work I was doing at the museum was no less important.

Once again, I would like to thank those of you who have been following me this term, and I hope you stick around for more.

 

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Art Museum Internship, Uncategorized

ArH Internship Week 9: A Brief History on Printing

Bleh. So, I wrote two blog posts yesterday, yet still it took me this long to get this blog post done for my school. I don’t why this is happening, it’s really dumb. I should just get all my school projects done at the beginning of the week before doing other projects like the Van Gogh or Lenten projects.

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Why???

So, this week, I wrapped up more print works. I realized that in my blog post last week, I talked about the prints I’ve been preserving, but not anything about the history of lithographs, prints, or anything like that. I figured, since I got caught up in all my other classes, that this would be as good of any time to do this.

Even though printing has been around for centuries and believed to have originated from Ancient China with the earliest known print piece found in Shaanxi, China created back in 618-907.(1) This was a woodblock printing. More famously, in Germany, Johann Gutenburg invented a complex typing printing machine in 1455. I actually remember as a small child doing a presentation on Johann Gutenburg. As interesting as Gutenburg’s invention was, Alois Senefelder’s story was moving.

Alois Senefelder, also from Germany, was an artist who lost his funding and support after

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Alois Senefelder (1771-1834)

his father’s death. He tried, with no success, to gain a living as an actor, then he finally got a job in a printing workshop. He worked hard on a play he wrote and, again, found little success in getting it published. At this time, printing plates were very expensive, so he tried to make his own printing blocks to publish the play himself with little success.

It just so happened that he was writing his laundry list on a piece of paper on a lithograph stone, but when he looked under his list, he found the impression and discovered that by continuing to etch on the stone he could create a new, much cheaper form of printing. Finally, after failing again and again, he found a way to not only publish his own play on much less expensive level, but was asked to teach lithograph printing to musicians and other people seeking to print their works for a much cheaper price.

Yes. This man is my new hero.

Now, here are the things I wrapped up today:

 

Above are prints of animals, but the prints here below are a little closer to home. According to the information page in the Old Days portfolio, these were a series of prints that were made in the 1980’s during Willamette River crisis and the prints inside were reimaginings of the wilderness before it was inhabited by humans.

(1)Pan, Jixing. “On the Origin of Printing in the Light of New Archaeological Discoveries,” in Chinese Science Bulletin, 1997, Vol. 42, No. 12: 976–981. ISSN 1001-6538. Pages 979–980.

Art Museum Internship, Uncategorized

ArH Internship Weeks 8: OSU Prints and Sad Poetry

So, just a disclaimer, I did in fact GO to my internship my last week and had every intention of doing the blog post. I had a paper in History of Photography that I needed to do and work was exhausting, so I spent the free time I did have working on the Lent Project almost as a theraputic thing.

Welp. I’m gonna stop making excuses for myself in 3…2…1…

 

So, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, There were very few things these last few months that I wrapped up that I got super excited about. I liked just about everything, but only a couple of things made me look and immediately think “Wow.”

This week was one of those. 🙂

I wrapped up a Visual Design portfolio from Oregon State University made in 2002.

The print on the left is called Spring Fragment. I was dumb and forgot to jot down the title of the one on the right, but I liked it. If I just had one criticism about it would be the musician’s teeth. They look a little scary, but I like the shadows on her face and the way the guitar is made is really cool. Spring Fragment is really interesting because it’s very abstract-looking, but the way the shapes and shading are placed really drew my eye really well. Generally, I’m not a fan of art that’s not supposed to look like anything, but this artist pulled it off really well.

The next thing I wrapped is called Archeologies of Loss poetry by Srah Lantz and Prints by Sarah Horowitz.

I didn’t get a good look at the poems, but the prints looked really nice. The subjects were various Flora that looked like they should have had blossoms, but didn’t.

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The link I provided gives a much better description of these poems than I could, but as a quick introduction, the cover page of the book noted that it was made in memory of someone named Eleanor Winter. The themes of the poems discuss loss, renewal, and rebuilding of Jewish identity after the Holocaust in Europe.

 

Art Museum Internship, The Van Gogh Project, Uncategorized

ArH Internship Week 6: No Internship Today. Van Gogh instead.

Well, my friendlies, I just realized it’s Friday and I have not posted anything related to my internship this week. That’s because I had no internship this week. My supervisor is in Beliz with her husband. That being said, I thought I would take this opportunity to write more about my independent research project. I posted an entry earlier this week, but, what the heck, I’ll do another one.

If you’ve been following all of my blog posts, and possibly my instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been posted something called “The Van Gogh Project.”

My aunt asked me to paint a reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Cafe Terrace at Night” that she may hang it in her dining room.

Wanting to do a good job, I decided to study the artwork and Van Gogh much more extensively. I thought by getting to know the man better, I would be able to bring his painting to life in a way that would allow my aunt and anyone she invites over to get a feel for the real man.

I bought a poster of the piece because having a high quality poster shows the brushstrokes much better than any image in the internet can. I also didn’t want to paint in my own style as my style uses only the smallest amounts of paint at a time (paint’s expensive, I generally want to make it last as long as possible), and I have a tendency to blend, worse, over blend the paint on my canvas. Van Gogh and I are opposites in many ways.

He separates his colors, I blend mine. He uses a lot of paint, I use as little as I can. The Van Gogh project is every bit breaking my own habits as learning the techniques of one of my giants.

Turns out, I was right. In a letter to his sister, Van Gogh specifically explained his pride in being able to recreate the sky in the painting without using any black.


A couple days ago, I myself went a little mad.

I was attempting to study logic, and I was just not getting it. Finally, I marched downstairs and picked up the paintbrush. I started a little earlier than I wanted to, but I finally took paint to the canvas I purchased:

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I put globs of paint on the canvas, like the impressionists did, and went to work. I just needed the right yellow to put on the stars.

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I got Yellow Ochre for the stars (I can’t believe I didn’t have it already), I saw a lot of Indian Yellow in the painting, so I went ahead and got that too.

If you haven’t seen it already, here’s a video of me analyzing the poster I got as my reference:

I’m currently in the process of finishing a video doing some brushstroke experiments. Please follow me on YouTube or Vidme for updates.

Art Museum Internship, Conservation, Uncategorized

PAM Internship Week 5: More Japanese Prints and Paul Dahlquist

I’m showcasing two pieces today:

I don’t have a whole lot of information on these prints, but I still want to share them with you because I think they look nifty.

print2

print1
Song for One

These contemporary Japanese prints were a gift to Arlene Schnitzer.

Next, I wrapped a Folio of photograph work by Paul Dahlquist, an Oregon based artist, When I looked at his website, I found that the majority of his artwork centered around pornographic, homosexual themes. I wondered if the art that I wrapped up was done by the same artist (for the artwork’s safety, I only looked at the first two images in the Folio), but after seeing the PAM’s full collection of his, I found a couple pieces that corresponded with the artwork showcased on Dahlquist’s website.

It reminded me a lot of what I learned in my Art Criticism course from a couple terms back where for a while, pornography was not considered art, but then people like Jeff Koons with his “Made in Heaven” series sought to tear down this barrier (though, art critic Annie Sprinkle, a real pornographer, still believed his series to be “art” and definitely not porn).

It seems the general layout of Dahlquist’s work seeks the same kind of goals, which is to display this level of intimacy in a fine arts environment.

ciggarette
Guy Anderson
blackjesus
Christopher 
Art Museum Internship, Conservation, Uncategorized

ArH Internship Week 4: Etiquette of Looting

DISCLAIMER: We here at AshleyWestArt do not condone looting. We are simply suggesting that if looting does take place, which, unfortunately has been and will be again and again, that the offending party simply not add “destruction of cultural artifacts” to your list of crimes. At best, you are a war criminal, at worst, you are robbing future generations of their history and heritage.

Without further ado, here’s what I helped preserved this week:

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This beauty is a Burmese scroll from 1140 AD. This is a Jataka of the Life of Buddha: Theravada Canon. It is roughly 11×17 inches and made up of 210 palm leaves bound together by two chords, then, finally, wrapped up in a protective covering made of bamboo and canvas. Unfortunately, I did not open the scroll, as I was worried about causing damage to it, but the sides of the palm leaves were painted with some kind of metallic (probably gold) pigment.

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And here’s the box I made for it being set up for drying

The manuscript inside is written in Pali Script, and contains one of the past lives of Buddha, or Tipitake  (The Three Baskets), which relates to the Three Ways of Asian Wisdom (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Zen).

 

It was looted by English soldiers from a Buddhist temple. Now, while I’m not a fan of looting, it still happened. I very much appreciate that the looters kept this scroll in the condition that it was, and that we can still learn more about Burmese culture and the Buddhist legends and philosophies.

Reference

History and Bibliography. Jataka: Life of Buddha (Theravada Canon). Burma. 1140 (Burmese Era (1778 or 1881)

This was a particularly happy day for me because I actually made the box for this weeks ago, but it finally dried and got all set up today… and the scroll fit inside perfectly!

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Just look at it!

I don’t have a good picture of it (sorry, everyone, I thought I did), but if I could fix one thing, the lid’s corners are somewhat rounded. When I go back, I’m going to ask Samantha if I can apply gum adhesive to the corners to sharpen them up a bit.

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Gum Adhesive 

This gum adhesive is an all-natural, acid free linen piece with natural gum which is made sticky by applying water (very much like old-timey postage stamps that you have to lick).

I found a really nice list of adhesives that are safe to use for conservation purposes. Of course, now that I’m looking at this, I can’t remember if the gum is vegetable base or not, but I’m pretty sure it is.

Conservation, Uncategorized

I Need Your Help

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Background Image From Flickr (Painterly filter added)

 

We did it, guys!

Also, oops! Realized I hadn’t made a blog post in five days. How dare I?

Okay. So. Here’s what happened:

I came into my internship the other day just happy as a clam. I took off my coat, grateful that I wasn’t taking off 80 layers like I did last week in response to the snowstorm that hit my city. Everything was going right for me, it seemed, and I went right to work. Better yet, the glue dried on one of the archival boxes I made (well, the lid to it, anyway), and it fit the box perfectly!

I hear the faint, vibrating noise from my phone.

I go over to check it, thinking perhaps it was my boyfriend replying to my asking if he was available for dinner tonight when he got out of class.

It wasn’t.

It was an email.

This email knocked the wind right out of me. I can’t remember the last time I felt so many emotions (both overwhelming joy and overwhelming fear) go through my head at once.

I texted my boyfriend saying I had something to tell him. He asked me what was bothering me, I told him it wasn’t so much that, just that it wasn’t something I needed to tell him in person.

We met at a bar. We talked for a bit, and after a few sips of beer and some time in his company, the dread wore off and I handed him my phone to show him the email I got. I saw his eyes slide back and forth across the sentences. I thought he had a worried look, but, then again, I never was good at assuming peoples’ thoughts.

It was probably just a few seconds, but it seemed like much longer. He handed me back the phone, smiled, and said,

“Yup. You did it. Good job, dear.”

What did I do? Well… remember my first few blog posts? How they were about they were about my hopes to study abroad in Florence, Italy?

That email was the acceptance letter into the program.

So, yeah. I did it. I got in! Yay!

Now, here’s the thing. Sadly, I need to come up with a lot of funds for plane tickets, tuition, board, food, supplies, etc. I’m going to be working harder than ever at my retail job and saving as much as I possibly can, but if you guys can help, not only would you have my unending gratitude, but I’ll make it worth your while too.

Here is my Patreon page (any contributions will make will help me financially on a monthly basis AND I will make you art as well as see the first drafts of my comic which so far is about two idiots trying to survive in a world ruled by dragons)

Here is my GoFundMe if you would like to make a donation!

Seriously! If ten of you donated $1, then that would be a day’s worth of food while I’m over there!

Also, I am accepting just about any and all art commissions! Do you want an old master reproduction? I can do that! Do you have an original character in mind you want me to make? I can do that a lot quicker! Just send me an email at BigSister792@gmail.com, and we’ll get something going!