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Press Release

January 27, 2015

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

Oklahoma History Center to Show Art Conservation in Progress

Oklahoma City, Okla. -- The Oklahoma History Center will highlight the importance of artifact conservation by inviting the public to view the step by step process of conserving a painting Monday, February 2, through Friday, February 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. History Center Director Dan Provo said, "This form of exhibit will give us the opportunity to provide collections care to a valuable and beautiful piece of Oklahoma art and, at the same time, demonstrate a process that is seldom seen by the public."

The painting to be conserved is Elizabeth Jane's "Trail of Tears" that was completed in 1938 as part of the requirements for her master of arts degree from the University of Oklahoma. It was donated to the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1940 and was displayed almost continuously in the Oklahoma Historical Society's previous home, the Wiley Post Building, for more than 60 years. 

Carmen Bria, director and chief conservator of the Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts (WCCFA), a Denver based firm, will be in charge of the project. As he works, supported by museum staff, Bria will explain how his preventative conservation approach is applied, including techniques for proper care, handling and storage of the artwork. Conservation treatment will include cleaning the painted surface, repairing small punctures, and creating a new stretcher to support the painting for many years to come.

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the Oklahoma Historical Society visit www.okhistory.org.

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