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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Tribute to Constance McClure

by Conservation


Constance McClure , Art Academy of Cincinnati

Once again the museum is contributing to a sister institution’s exhibition, this time to honor an artist who was a friend and inspiration to many in the Cincinnati art community.  We are lending several works on paper by Connie McClure to the Art Academy this month for an exhibit of her art.  Pictured here is a print, Studio Window, from 1978, ready for the paper conservator to examine before it travels downtown to the Art Academy.  Watching the process are Rembrandt, an Ottoman official and Connie herself, pictured in the small oval to the right of the official.  Connie was a regular visitor to the Conservation Department with her students.  She wanted them to see original works from the collection undergoing conservation treatment and to learn what it was like to be a museum conservator—something many of the students had never heard of.  Another purpose of the visit was to show artists in her class on traditional materials and techniques how art aged and changed over time and the importance of using the best, most stable materials they could afford.  The statement by Charles Frymier that accompanies Connie’s picture says in part, “…Constance has been an instructor, friend and fellow artist.  A much-relied on source of inspiration and enthusiasm, she makes herself available to students present and past…. Her commitment to the language of the visual arts and its traditions needs to be acknowledged.”  Her presence in the museum is missed, and our paper conservator is grateful to have known and learned from her.  Visit the Art Academy of Cincinnati to see Never a Day Without Drawing, on view now through September 9, 2021.

Constance McClure (American, b.1934, d.2020), Studio Window, 1978, etching and aquatint on paper, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fleischmann in memory of Julius Fleischmann