Conserving Manet Video Series

Date: February 10, 2021
Release Date: February 10, 2021

Pasadena, CA—The Norton Simon Museum presents a series of short videos entitled A Trio of Treatments: Conserving Manet. Between 2018 and 2019, the Norton Simon Museum collaborated with the Department of Paintings Conservation at the J. Paul Getty Museum to clean and conserve the Simon’s three paintings by Édouard Manet. In this new video series, Chief Curator Emily Talbot interviews the conservators involved in this project: Devi Ormond, who treated Madame Manet and The Ragpicker, and Laura Rivers, who worked on Still Life with Fish and Shrimp.

The series is now streaming on the Museum’s website, along with dozens of recently produced videos that tell the fascinating stories behind some of the remarkable objects housed in the Norton Simon Museum. Episodes from A Trio of Treatments include:

Conserving Manet’s “Madame Manet”

Chief Curator Emily Talbot interviews Devi Ormond, Associate Conservator of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, on the astonishing results of removing the discolored varnish and gratuitous retouching in Manet’s Madame Manet (1874–76). Their discussion also reveals new discoveries that strengthen the painting’s connection to other portraits Manet made of his wife. WATCH

Conserving Manet’s “Still Life with Fish and Shrimp”

Chief Curator Emily Talbot interviews Laura Rivers, Associate Conservator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, who worked on the painting in 2018–19. As Rivers explains, the Still Life (1864) was in exceptional condition when it arrived at the Getty, but a previous cleaning of the picture had focused on the fish alone, leaving the varnish in the background to darken and discolor. The result of the recent treatment is a painting that more closely resembles its appearance when it left Manet’s studio. WATCH

Conserving Manet’s “The Ragpicker”

For this installment, much of which was filmed in the Paintings Conservation Studio at the J. Paul Getty Museum prior to the current closure, Chief Curator Emily Talbot interviews Devi Ormond, Associate Conservator at the Getty. As Ormond explains, technical analysis of the overly thick varnish found on The Ragpicker (ca. 1865–70) revealed unlikely components that prevented her from fully removing this stubborn layer. Learn more about the challenges thrown up by this discovery, as well as the compositional changes that Manet made during the course of painting the picture, in this short video. WATCH

These are some of digital offerings the Norton Simon Museum has produced while we are temporarily closed. We encourage you to explore more online, including: Distance Learning resources for schools, parents and students; Dispatches from the Conservation Studio, short posts from the Museum’s conservator; Impressions: Stories Behind the Collection, essays from our curatorial and education staff; Meditative Moments, a series of short meditation exercises centered on objects from the collections; and much more.

About the Norton Simon Museum

The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a 30-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Modern and Contemporary Art from Europe and the United States, acquired by the former Pasadena Art Museum, also occupies an important place in the Museum’s collections. The Museum houses more than 12,000 objects, roughly 1,000 of which are on view in the galleries and gardens.

Location: The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd. at Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the intersection of the Foothill (210) and Ventura (134) freeways. For general Museum information, please call (626) 449-6840 or visit Hours: The Museum is open Thursday through Monday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Friday and Saturday to 7 p.m.).  It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission: General admission is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors. Members, students with I.D., and patrons age 18 and under are admitted free of charge. The first Friday of the month from 4 to 7 p.m. is free to all. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking: Parking is free but limited, and no reservations are necessary. Public Transportation: Pasadena Transit stops directly in front of the Museum. Please visit for schedules. The MTA bus line #180/181 stops in front of the Museum. The Memorial Park Station on the MTA Gold Line, the closest Metro Rail station to the Museum, is located at 125 E. Holly St. at Arroyo Parkway. Please visit for schedules. Planning your Visit: For up-to-date information on our guidelines and protocols, please visit

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Press Contacts

Leslie Denk
(626) 844-6900
[email protected]

Emma Jacobson-Sive
(323) 842-2064
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