Museums are now honest about conservation issues.
Eric Shanes's suggestion that the Clark Institute's (and by extension the Yale Center for British Art's) failure to disclose information on its controversial restoration of Turner's Rockets and Blue Lights ('A Turner Resurrected', APOLLO, May 2005) is somehow understandable or acceptable because it is 'entirely in keeping with museums norms' must be rejected. He mentions our National Gallery as a case in point, but, under its present director, the gallery is now in fact acting in a greatly more transparent and helpful fashion: I am being given full access to the records of a series of controversially restored works.
Mr Shanes's preparedness to give the Clark Institute the benefit of the doubt on its attribution to Robert Carrick of the one-boated image that it presented publicly as an historic record of the original condition of Turner's picture, is misplaced. The Carrick chromolithographic copy (comprised of fourteen--not forty--separate successively over-printed states), we have ascertained, recorded both of Turner's steamboats from its earliest stages. Whatever the source of the mysterious one-boated image supplied by Yale and shown entirely misleadingly at the Clark might have been, it was not made by Carrick.
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|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2005|
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