Conserving the Met’s King Arthur tapestry

I can never get enough videos of conservators bathing a large but fragile historic tapestry ever so gently like it’s a little baby. This time the tapestry in question is “King Arthur” from the “Nine Heroes Tapestries” series that is in The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s branch dedicated to medieval art. In this …

Celtic gold hoard coin stolen in museum heist

A hoard of Celtic gold coins from the 1st century B.C. was stolen in a daring smash-and-grab burglary from the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, southern Germany. Thieves made away with 483 coins in the early hours of Tuesday, November 22, and Bavaria’s State Criminal Police Office have launched an international investigation to find …

How to move a quarter ton of Renaissance masterpiece

London’s National Gallery recently moved a monumental altarpiece by Renaissance master Filippino Lippi. It is 6’8″ high, 6’1″ wide and weighs 526 pounds, so this was no easy feat. The team captured it on video to give people a glimpse of the complex systems and technologies requires to handle fragile works of this scale. The …

Oldest book in the Americas at the Getty

The Códice Maya de México, also known as the Grolier Codex, is the oldest surviving book in the Americas. It is one of only four known Maya codices that survived the book-burning zealotry of the Spanish occupiers, and the only one to have survived the centuries since the conquest on the continent where it was …

Oil sketch dismissed as bad copy is by Rembrandt

An oil sketch in the Museum Bredius in The Hague discounted as a copy has been revealed to be an autograph work by Rembrandt. The Raising of the Cross, once widely accepted as a real Rembrandt, had been dismissed as a bad copy for 50 years until art historian and former museum curator Jeroen Giltaij …

Scottish museum acquires 8th c. gold sword pommel

An exceptionally rare gold sword pommel that is one of the only ones of its kind ever found in Scotland has been acquired by National Museums Scotland. It was made around 700 A.D. out of solid gold and is decorated with intricate gold filigree, geometric patterns and stylized zoomorphic designs. Garnets are set in the …

Artemisia’s Allegory to be digitally uncensored

A nude by Artemisia Gentileschi that was censored with extraneous draping is being restored in public at the Casa Buonarroti museum in Florence. The painting of a young woman holding a basin of water containing a compass with a small bright star above her head is the Allegory of Inclination (ie, natural talent for art). …

Norway’s National Museum acquires rare Artemisia Gentileschi painting

The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo has acquired a rare work by Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith and her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes (1639-40). Donated to the museum by philanthropic the DNB Savings Bank Foundation, it is one of very few paintings by the Baroque master that is unambiguous in its …

Tang Dynasty dancing horse gets tassel removed

A tassel on the forehead of a terracotta Dancing Horse sculpture from the Tang Dynasty (618–907 A.D.) has been unmasked as an impostor, an error of restoration instead of an original design element. The horse has been in the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum for 25 years, but the truth has only come to …

Getty returns unique Greek terracotta sculptural group

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles is returning one of its greatest treasures to Italy: a group of life-sized terracotta statues of a seated poet with two sirens from the 4th century B.C. The sculptural group was bought by J. Paul Getty himself and has been on display continuously since 1976. An unrelated …