19 thoughts on “Conserving Degas’s tutu

  1. Pratima Kandel

    I love the posture of this dancer and just how calm and composed she is. Even though I’m not a dancer myself, I love to watch professional dancing and it’s amazing to see Degas’s art as he painted a fluttering moment in a dancing scene, whether it’s a rehearsal scene or an actual performance. There is so much poise and control in the way this dancer is positioned. It is wonderful to see how ancient arts are being valued and restored. The artist has worked very well with the new skirt.

    Reply
  2. Cecelia

    Before watching the video, I was a bit on the fence about restoring the skirt. I was worried it might damage the artist’s original intention for how the piece was meant to be. But after watching the video, I felt convinced that they were doing the right thing — it really looked more authentic to what it seemed Degas was trying to convey in a dancer of the time, and it made the piece look a lot more lifelike. It seemed to really revitalize the statue and in my personal opinion, I think restoring the skirt was the right decision to make.

    Reply
  3. Sarai David

    I completely agree with the choices made in conserving the tutu. I feel as though the reasoning behind the conservators choices were sound and backed by good research. I like to think I would have done the same thing if I was in the conservator’s place. I feel very uneasy about the second image of the dancer’s tutu. It looks more like a miniskirt than a tutu. I thinkn this version of the tutu is the best replacement to date.

    Reply
  4. Emma Eichenberger

    Just like above, I, too, was very apprehensive about the restoration of the skirt because I was unfamiliar with the whole process. However, I thought that it was very fitting how the artists and restoration staff spent a lot of time doing extensive research about the style and texture of the tutu, yet also making some creative changes to make the whole ensemble fit together. It is also interesting to see how much fabric disintegrates even within a museum setting, but it was also very interesting to see how the new fabric was dyed and colored to capture that “old fabric” look.

    Reply
  5. Christopher Hall

    As everyone else comments Made the thought of restoring another artist work made me feel that the character of the work was being stripped of way each time a new restoration was made . However the way that the he researched and tried to make the reconstruction look as similar as possible . Didn’t take much the character from the piece as I expected . Which researching and trying to relate it to the original piece as possible . would be the most respectful and smartest choice .

    Reply
  6. Caroline Thompson

    Conserving a delicate piece of material like the tutu can be very difficult. However, after watching the video, I felt very confident that they could do a good job of restoring the tutu without changing the appearance or original idea of the sculpture. I’m not too familiar with the process of conserving art. However, if it needs preserved, there should be a full researched plan with a licensed professional to do the job. Overall, I believe they the restoration makes the sculpture look very vivid and lively. It brings the sculpture back to life.

    Reply
  7. Kourtney Chiles

    I think the conservators were right in the way they went about conserving this beautiful sculpture. Although I was quite surprised that they had not thought of putting the sculpture in a glass case. I also had not realized that the sculpture had been restored multiple times throughout its creation.

    Reply
  8. Hunter Stephens

    To me, I understand previous tutu’s had been replaced over time but, conservationists should have left an image of the wax model for others to interpret what was meant. By adding a new tutu with flair of a current era conservationist, it leaves open modernization of a tutu with a conversationalists’ interpretation rather than maybe another intended interpretation……

    Reply
  9. Katie Mick

    I honestly would have left her alone, she had already been changed enough over the years. If someone was set on not liking the way she looked, I would put a remodeled version beside her with the tutu he made – then people could see the original and the recreation.
    I do agree that he did good research and the tutu turned out really nice but I feel like that is changing it too much and it isn’t the same anymore.

    Reply
  10. Jenna Gilbert

    The fact that the tutu had been replaced multiple times, and was no longer what the artist had created, the conservator had the freedom to come up with a new look for the tutu, instead of just replicating what the artist had done. Despite this, I appreciate how they tried to make the new tutu as historically accurate as possible, as well as to make it look as much like the original tutu as possible.

    Reply
  11. Michaela Smith

    I love the way she is standing and how her posture is so straight and calm. Her arms are behind her back and her chest is pushed out. Her right foot is in front of her left foot and it is turned so the inside of her foot is facing outwards. The way she is standing implies that she is a ballet dancer and she also has ballet shoes on. I do not like how the historians restored and changed the ballet skirt. I think that changing it, is like changing the history and it might not be what it actually was and we are getting a false interpretation of what it was. I think that we should’ve just let the skirt be so it can be the same. It does look a lot better, but it is mostly fake and that is not the best idea.

    Reply
  12. Kayla Shaffer

    I had the chance to see Degas’s Dancer in 2015 at the National Gallery in Washington DC. I’ve being dancing for about fourteen years. I primarily focus on ballet, but I have taught ballet, jazz, and tap. As a ballerina, one of the most prominent pieces of dancing is the costume and what you wear to class. Not only is it important to allow for movement, but it also instills a sense of pride in your art. Getting your first tutu or pair of pointe shoes, these are major milestones for a dancer. In ballet, everything is focused on grace and elegance. Pointe shoes are painful. They are beautiful but a dancer trains in pointe shoes to learn to dance and to learn to smile. When you put on a tutu, you learn how the tutu moves with you. You must focus your movements, the choreography, but also the way your outfit moves with you.
    Degas’s artwork has always been one of my favorites. I love this sculpture because it is so realistic. As the video said, the shape of the skirt has changed over the years. Dance has changed over the years. Now, you would wear a pancake tutu. It sticks straight out and has about eight layers in it for a practice tutu. I love how the dancer is standing. In ballet classes you know you are expected to respect your teacher. So much as slouching or sneezing can be enough to be reprimanded depending on the studio. She’s relaxed. She almost looks like she’s about to go on stage, she’s looking out the wings and is about to go on. She’s not stiff. She’s waiting.
    As a dancer, I love Degas’s paintings and this sculpture. I’m lucky enough to have have had a chance to see both.

    Reply
  13. Grace Tian

    I love the way she is standing. She puts most of her weight on left leg. She looks very calm. She looks up with her hands behind her back. This posture reminds me of a graceful swan. I feel that she is not just dancing, but also she is thinking about something. I think the the third tutu definitely brings a more lifelike feeling to the statue. I think the designer did a good job on that.

    Reply
  14. Caleigh Sullivan

    It’s a lot of pressure and also, like the conservator said, a sort of freedom for a conservator to be able to choose how to make a new skirt. Which is different than having a designated design for a painting. With any conservation job, there is a small bit of risk. The research behind the original design and of what dancers in the period wore made the conservation of the skirt. Historical accuracy and the intentions of the artist were clearly important to the conservator and should be something each conservator considers when working on a project.

    Reply
  15. Meredith Pons

    In my head I’ve always hated the thought of restoring old art. I’ve always felt that it ruins its authenticity. However, at the same time, I know its important and necessary for many pieces. The video helped me understand that if restorations aren’t done sometimes, the art will be ruined. After watching the video, I realized they were doing they right thing. The restoration of the skirt brought the piece back to life and it seemed like how Degas conveyed the dancer at the time. I Believe that restoring the skirt was the right choice that will help the piece survive much longer.

    Reply
  16. Carolyn Faith Riley

    I love Dega’s Little Dancer because of the way he captures the snippet of a little girl just in her regular old dance class. He took something common and made it art. When I went to the National Gallery of art in D.C., I was taken back by the skirt being fabric because when you think about how natural materials deteriorate things like fabric are more likely to fall apart than sculptures made from any type of stone. It’s interesting to see how with the conservation of the skirt, the length changes over the years depending on how the conservationist thinks it should look.

    Reply
  17. Tamra

    Before watching the video I thought it wasn’t the best idea to replace the tutu because that would ruin the original piece. After watching the video and learning that the tutu had been replaced multiple times before and that the body of the girl had been casted over to better preserve the piece it swayed my original opinion. I think it is important to restore art so that many other people can appreciate the beauty of the dancer. I believe how much research and time went into restoring the dancer shows just how important art is to those around us. After the restoration was complete, I believe it made the dancer look like a better revamped version of Degas dancer.

    Reply
  18. J. Helton

    This is such a beautiful sculpture. It truly captures a dancers elegance and poise. The idea of restoring art is scary to me but I believe it is very important to do so, because it allows for more generations to be able to view and fall in love with the beauty of art. The tutu of the dancer after being restored becomes an attention grabber, the piece was beautiful before but now it is hard to take my eyes off of it. The restoration gives it more character; breathes more life into the piece. I believe that as long as we aren’t destroying the artists original intentions it is okay to restore parts of their amazing works.

    Reply
  19. Jessica Thorne

    I have loved this piece of art for a very long time, and have posed in the same position for many a picture. It surprised me to know that Degas never intended the statue to be anything more than a temporary wax statue. It also was interesting to see that the original bronzes were made awhile after the original statue by Degas, so the bronze copies were made to look old and aged. I have seen the copies in the Met in the Musee d’Orsay in France. The restoration of this skirt is really cool because they used historical research, including some paintings that Degas made, which I also love, to make it as accurate as it could be to the one on the aged wax statue.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.