BOSTON, MA (July 24, 2015)—The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced that it will name the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Paintings Conservation Studio in honor of a major gift from Honorary Trustee Rose-Marie van Otterloo and her husband Eijk. A portion of the van Otterloos’ $5 million gift will support the transformational renovation of the Museum’s Paintings Conservation, Objects Conservation and Scientific Research Laboratories, and a portion will support the ongoing work of paintings conservation. This gift is in addition to the $7 million raised for the renovation project in 2014 through grants from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and an anonymous foundation, along with matching MFA funds—ensuring the care and preservation of the Museum’s world-renowned collection into the future. The Museum has retained Samuel Anderson Architects (New York, NY) to design the new spaces. Paintings and objects restorers began to care for the collection in the late 19th century, and the MFA subsequently established one of the nation’s first conservation and scientific laboratories in 1929. These renovations will improve and expand labs situated in the White Wing, which opened in 1970.
With this renovation, the Paintings Conservation Studio and Objects Conservation Lab will increase by nearly 50 percent. Each lab will gain 1,000 square feet, along with other improvements that include open floor plans that maximize natural light, heightened ceilings, modern mechanical and technological infrastructure, optimal adjacencies of functions and workflow, a fully upgraded building envelope, and additional storage for objects and records. The Van Otterloo Paintings Studio will now be able to accommodate multiple large-scale projects. Upgrades will also allow the Museum to consolidate all objects conservation activity into one space, increasing efficiency and allowing for treatment of larger sculpture. The Scientific Research Laboratory will be updated and consolidated.
The MFA’s conservation team of 34 conservators and scientists treat an average of 6,000 works each year—ranging from paintings and furniture to objects and textiles. In addition to performing conservation treatments, they examine and evaluate artwork and develop and implement methods to ensure the safety and stability of objects on display, on loan and in transit. Their efforts can be seen across the Museum, from recently conserved paintings by Rembrandt and Gerrit van Honthorst in the renovated Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery, to the 2014 renovation of a suite of three galleries dedicated to ancient Greek art, where nearly all of the 230 objects on view—among the oldest in the MFA’s collection—were restored. Additionally, visitors can see conservators at work in the MFA’s Conservation in Action gallery, which currently features the monumental painting Devout Men Taking the Body of St. Stephen (1776) by Benjamin West (1738–1830), and the 15th-century Monopoli Altarpiece from southern Italy.
The renovation of Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery was made possible by the generous support of Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo.
Conservation in Action: Monopoli Altarpiece is generously supported by the John and Sonia Lingos Family Foundation
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa; Art of the Ancient World; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–4:45 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–9:45 pm. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger on weekdays after 3 pm, weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution. MFA Members receive free admission. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit mfa.org or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.