The Unvarnished Truth: Exploring the Material History of Paintings investigates Old Master and modern paintings through stylistic and scientific examination to reconsider their physical history. A multidisciplinary project organized from the collections of the McMaster University Museum of Art, it draws upon the expertise of researchers in a variety of disciplines—including anthropology, conservation, and applied radiation science, among others—to document the material structure of these works and to refine the narratives of their origins.
The Unvarnished Truth: Exploring the Material History of Paintings is organized and circulated by the McMaster Museum of Art. The MMA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Museums Assistance Program, Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council. The Agnes gratefully acknowledges the support of the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, Queen’s University.
The exhibition is accompanied by an online catalogue that includes an essay on the art of connoisseurship written by Stephanie S. Dickey, and one by Ron Spronk on the changing roles of museum curators, art conservators, and conservation scientists.