Helping Harvard Art Museums' Collections Sing


Making a new frame at Harvard University Art Museums

Cambridge, MA

On the second floor arcade of the Harvard Art Museums’ newly opened facility, visitors can see the fruits of a collaborative project that involved conservator Susan Jackson surrounding Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, a seventeenth-century painting by Paolo Finoglia. To prepare the massive 7½- by 6-foot canvas for display, a team of the museums’ conservators and curators determined the painting would be best served with a Baroque-style frame. Susan was invited by her daughter, Harvard Art Museums’ frame conservator Allison Jackson, to assist in the final stages of fashioning a frame so that it appeared as though it was made in 1640, when the painting was completed. Together, the mother-daughter team gilded and toned a newly built and historically appropriate frame for the canvas. In a Harvard Gazette article highlighting this project, Danielle Carrabino, curatorial research associate at the Harvard Art Museums, describes how the new frame will allow the painting “to sing for the first time in our collection’s history.”

Read more about this effort in Index, the Harvard Art Museums’ magazine.