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Les Demoiselles d'Avignon: Conserving a Modern Masterpiece

While still anticipating its grand re-opening in new digs in midtown Manhattan this November, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) presents this website on the conservation of "an iconic fixture in MoMA's collection since its acquisition in 1939", Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. MoMA and other museums make good use of the Web to allow visitors to observe the conservation process as they never could before; in addition to MoMA's site, other art conservation web sites reviewed in the Scout report include Restoration Online, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Sept. 24, 1999 and Pablo Picasso's The Tragedy, the National Gallery of Art, (June 14, 2002 MoMA's Demoiselles site is arranged in seemingly simple sections--Introduction, History of the painting, Analysis and previous treatments, Treatment 2003/2004, and Ask the conservator (where you can email questions directly), supplemented by a glossary and bibliography, but users can drill down in the broad sections for more specific information, and lots of before-and-after images. For example, exploring the Treatment 2003/2004 area leads to close-ups showing the effects of removing a coat of varnish applied to the painting in 1950. The site also provides a link to the MoMA conservation home page, where visitors can learn about conservation at MoMA in general, and look at the restoration of a Monet Water Lilies.
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