BOSTON – When the Museum of Fine Arts needed experts to complete a pair of 1700s period rooms in its new wing, a couple of craftspeople from Maine got the call to do the heavy lifting.
Robin Neely, a glass conservator and consultant from the Deering neighborhood in Portland, made two lead-glass windows for the Brown-Pearl Room, newly installed in the elegant and breathtaking Art of the Americas wing at the Boston museum.
Aaron Sturgis, a timber framer from Berwick, used his expertise to rebuild the 1704 Brown-Pearl Room as well as a dramatic timber frame for the Manning Room from a late 17th-century New England house.
“To be an artisan involved in a museum as well respected as the MFA is — well, it’s astounding,” said Sturgis. “It’s an opportunity that you do not get many times….” Continue reading...
We appreciated the attention that the reporter, Bob Keyes, paid to the frame:
REALLY BIG BEAM
For Sturgis, his work at the MFA began several years ago when the period rooms were dismantled so the building project could commence. He was hired to help remove and later reinstall the timber frames.
One beam from the Manning Room is 49 feet long and weighs 800 pounds. It’s the largest single object in the museum — so large that the new wing was built around it. The beam was put in place before construction was finished, because it was too large to move around once the wing was enclosed. As such, it was the first art object in the new wing.
Sturgis appreciates the attention to detail the museum paid to the Manning Room. In its current state, the timber frame is interpreted as a work of art in itself. The museum has left the timber frame exposed, so people can see how it was made and how it stands together.
The frame is the focus of the attention as opposed to the objects that fill the room, Sturgis said.
“That’s what excited me the most, the fact that Manning was being considered almost its own art piece as a timber frame,” he said. “You have a much clearer and closer look at the artifact. You can actually go up and touch it.
“From a craft perspective, saving an historic structure and illustrating how it was built and repaired it really exciting. It was an amazing experience.” Full Article
We are proud to have participated in such an important project.