The "Learning to Look" Workshop organized under the auspices of AIC at the 2020 College Art Association

By Rebecca Rushfield posted 02-28-2020 11:27


Each year since 2002 the American Institute for Conservation has organized a  “Learning to Look” Workshop in conjunction with the annual meeting of the College Art Association. These workshops bring together art historians, curators, artists, and conservators for a focused study of the material properties of one group or type of object in the physical presence of those objects in the galleries or study rooms of a local museum. The workshops are led by conservators and curators from that museum.  Topics have ranged from Greek sculptures to African masks to Winslow Homer watercolors to the use of oil paint in Renaissance paintings.  Because of the intimate nature of the programs, attendance is limited to 15 participants.

The 2020 “Leaning to Look” Workshop took place on Wednesday February 12, 2020 at the Art Institute of Chicago and focused on new findings about the materials and techniques used by Henri Matisse which are published in the  Art Institute’s new online catalogue, Matisse Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture, and Textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago  The workshop was led by Caitlin Haskell, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of International Modern Art, Allison Langley, Head of Paintings Conservation, and Kristi Dahm, Paper Conservator.  Spots in this workshop were highly coveted and there was a wait list of 10 people.

When asked for feedback, the following comments were received from workshop attendees:

       “The workshop was utterly delightful… The speakers brought fresh insight into these works and also demonstrated their depth of knowledge gained through their concentrated efforts.”

       “The session was excellent as usual.” [From someone who has attended almost all of the Workshops]

        “The presentations were exceptional—both the digital Matisse catalogue and the discussion of drawings that we were able to examine first-hand. This was definitely a highlight of my CAA experience.”

        “It’s always a pleasure and often a magical experience to look at works up close and personal in the P&D Study Room.”

We are pleased to announce that the host for the 2021 “Learning to Look” Workshop will be the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.