Frequently Asked Questions - Art
Can I touch the art? No, a finger placed upon the surface of a painting or sculpture can easily result in physical damage. Cracks can occur and the binding of paint to canvas can be endangered. The cleanest hands have a coating of perspiration, which is acidic and potentially very damaging to the art.
Does natural light damage the artwork? Yes, all of the windows in the galleries and the glass protective covers have been treated to protect the works of art from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light.
Can I take photography of the galleries, gardens, and artwork? Visitors are welcome to take still photographs in the galleries for private noncommercial use only. Flash photography and tripods are prohibited. Works of art on loan (as indicated by the gallery label) may not be photographed or videotaped. The Museum occasionally photographs, films, or videotapes visitors for education and promotional purposes.
I would like to sell or donate some artwork, whom should I contact? If you have an object you think the Museum might be interested in, or you would like to donate artwork to the Museum, please email a letter with a description and photograph to the Curatorial Department via the contact page.
I have artwork that needs to be appraised or is in need of conservation, whom should I contact? The Museum does not offer appraisal or conservation services. Many fine art appraisers are listed in the telephone book. You may contact them to find the dates of their "Open Houses."
Are the sculptures copies or originals? The stone, terracotta and marble sculptures are original. Most European bronze sculptures are cast in multiples from a wax or plaster original. Our labels indicate which number of the edition is on display. The Asian bronze sculptures are unique casts.
The Degas bronzes are made by the "indirect lost-wax casting" method. In this process, flexible gelatin molds are made from the fragile wax originals. These gelatin molds are then used to make perfect wax replicas. These replicas are covered with a plaster like material, which is baked to form a hard mold. As the mold bakes, the wax melts and drains through vent holes in the mold. The melted "lost" wax is replaced by molten bronze. The bronze cools and forms a cast, which is then removed from the mold.
Our master bronzes are the foundry models, marked "modèle." They were used by the foundry to produce multiple editions of each subject. The foundry assigned a number to each subject and a letter to each cast.