Art hanging news

Winter, 2016

Eye-level painting arrangement

A reminder, seen at the NGV, that a good way to arrange artworks that vary enormously in size is to place them with centres at eye level.

Monday 7 June, 2015

Bendigo Art Gallery

A happy coincidence, seen during a 2014 exhibition at Bendigo Regional Art Gallery.

Monday 7 June, 2015

When visiting the National Gallery of Victoria, I was lucky enough to see something normally kept from the public’s eye. John Herbert’s ‘Moses bringing down the Tables of the Law’ is both huge and fragile. As such, it hasn’t been on display in living memory. When purchased in 1878, not long after completion, it was the NGV’s most expensive acquisition.

The restoration of this giant Victorian era painting, along with its frame, was being done in one of the main galleries where casual visitors could watch its progress. It was impressive to see the restoration but to walk into that big gallery and finally see Moses dominating the wall was damned impressive. The room almost needs nothing else.

Moses bringing down the Tabernacles

Moses on the wall. Strong stuff.

painting restoration at NGV

Performance art. Painting restoration on public display at NGV, Melbourne.

Moses bringing down the Tabernacles frame restoration
Mses bringing down the tabernacles restoration

Von Guerard' note to the board explaining how the Moses painting was to be installed at the NGV
Stretcher bars for Moses painting at the NGV
Wednesday 1 July, 2015

When I stopped in, a small army of conservators was swarming over the frame, replacing flawed surfaces and re-gilding.

The image is an oil-painted-over cartoon on paper  – a highly unusual practice  –  commissioned by the NGV in the mid-19th century after seeing Herbert’s original fresco in the House of Lords. In preparation for transport, by sailing ship, to Australia it was removed from its frame (which had been designed for disassembly) and rolled on a huge wooden cylinder with blotting paper padding.

Resident Australian landscape painter, Eugene von Guerard, was on the scene as a gallery committee member charged with overseeing its installation. His sketch, here, details how it was to be unrolled and installed. (Looking at his figure drawing, you can see why he was a landscape painter.)

The stretcher frame was also shipped out, in pieces, for re-assembly here. The painting is tacked to it, then inserted in the frame which is, in turn, fixed to the wall.

To make a booking or ask about a job, please phone me from 9.00am – 6.00pm, Mon – Friday on 0403 803 015. Or email philkinin@netspace.net.au

Please note: My diary is now full till Xmas. As I’ll then be staying off ladders till my top-heaviness subsides, art hanging won’t resume till January 15, 2018.

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