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Exhibit Design & Museum-Related Projects: Huntington Library

Project Blue Boy

Sep. 22, 2018–Sep. 30, 2019

Huntington Art Gallery


One of the most iconic artworks in history, The Blue Boy, made around 1770 by Thomas Gainsborough, undergoes its first major technical examination and conservation treatment in public view, in a special satellite conservation studio set up in the west end of the Thornton Portrait Gallery. "Project Blue Boy" offers visitors a glimpse into the technical processes of a senior conservator working on the famous painting. Panels displayed nearby offer information and interactives relative to the work at hand, as well as background on the painting's history, mysteries, and artistic virtues.


All images are © Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens, 2019


Celebratory panel at entrance to the Huntington Art Gallery


Door signs let visitors know they've arrived


The barrier for the conservation also serves as display area for didactic graphics and artefacts.


An interactive screen addresses the treatment phases and conservation techniques


Another interactive screen addresses the history and iconography of Blue Boy


An xray of the painting can be illuminated on this panel, to expose the underlying images found during conservation


Panels are adorned with scientific information and details of the techniques used throughout the conservation


Blue pigments that were likely used

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