The Hope project is moving very quickly and the opening date moves closer every day
The Hope project is moving very quickly and the opening date moves closer every day. The last month has been dominated by all the preparation work needed for the installation of the galleries, which painting will go where and working on the opening exhibitions. It has also included the preparation of text for all the labels needed in the gallery as well as new publications that will be ready for the re-opening.
Conservation also continues with both painting and sculpture conservators working on the collection. All the work selected for redisplay will be conserved by the end of the year so that Watts will be presented at his best in the newly restored galleries. There has been an enormous amount done during closure, over a hundred paintings, frames restored and recreated where there were none and sculpture in fragile condition conserved. This has been able to happen because of the generosity of individuals who have given and adopted paintings and a conservator who has given his time.
I looked through my old blogs and as well as noting that perhaps I should have written something more often, I saw that the sculpture move was included. This is something that is going to happen again this week, except this time in reverse. The sculptures are moving back into the Sculpture Gallery, the home that was created for them by Mary Watts. It is a delicate business moving over three tons of fragile plaster, worrying but exciting because it feels that the journey back into the gallery has begun in earnest.