Portrait of a Man by Jan Hals was installed in one of the DIA's special exhibition galleries next to Rivera Court. Each Thursday (9am - 4 pm), I removed the painting from the wall and placed it on an easel to inpaint in front of visitors while entertaining their questions and comments.
Several times per day, I gave 10-minute talks in which I described the definition and purpose of art conservation, the painting’s history, its current condition, and my treatment. I gave 32 talks over the course of eight weeks, including a few extra lectures given at related special events for seniors, school groups, and the Founders Junior Council. Several of these talks were uploaded to the DIA’s social media platforms as part of #BringBackJanHals.
Information regarding a conservator’s training, materials, and processes, were stated on three large text panels in front of the painting. In an effort to direct visitors to the Dutch galleries, one panel described the painting’s relationship to those of his father, Frans Hals, who is represented on the DIA’s third floor.
The popularity of the program prompted the director to extend it for two weeks longer than was initially planned.
Conservation Live! (Jan Hals, Portrait of a Man)
Detroit Institute of Arts, Thursdays from March 4 - April 19, 2019