A Curator’s Best Days

In celebration of Paul Gauguin’s birthday today, we thought we would revisit one of Uncrated’s first blogs from August 2010 exploring the conservation work on the DMA’s “Under the Pandanus” painting by Gauguin.

Dallas Museum of Art Uncrated

The best days in a curator’s professional life are often the days spent in the conservation lab. That’s where we get to spend quality time with works of art and talk to conservators, the fantastically knowledgeable people who can look through a microscope or infrared scope and tell you the life history of an object. I was lucky enough to spend several hours in the painting conservation lab of the Midwestern Art Conservation Center (MACC), a private conservation center housed at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). I was there to confer with conservator David Marquis just before he begins cleaning an important painting in the DMA’s collections, Paul Gauguin’s Under the Pandanus, also known by its Maori title I Raro Te Oviri.

Gauguin painted Under the Pandanus in 1891, a few months after he arrived in Tahiti for the first time.  Sometime later, possibly the next year…

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2 Responses to “A Curator’s Best Days”


  1. 1 mikealixonline June 7, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    I have seen better paintings by Gauguin. But like most of his work, it has charm. However, it lacks that je-ne-sais-quoi sublime his more mysterious works possess — ones where flat paint stretches out the forms and colors clash as if they were excited sexual lovers.


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