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Conversations on Conservation: Making the Invisible Visible

As a recipient of the 2023 TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund grant, Neue Galerie New York is restoring one of its most beloved pictures, gifted to the museum by the Manley family in 2006: Egon Schiele’s (1890–1918) "Town Among Greenery (The Old City III)" from 1917. Broadly known for his raw and intense figural work, landscapes comprise approximately one-third of Schiele’s painted oeuvre. "Town Among Greenery" is distinct among his landscapes due to its prominent scale and the inclusion of figures. The painting is an imaginative view of the medieval town of Krumau in Bohemia, the birthplace of Schiele’s mother and a rich source of inspiration for his landscape pictures.

Saturday, May 13

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In this talk, the panelists will discuss this painting in the context of Schiele’s work, its condition, and the examination techniques that will be employed to learn about the artist’s working method.

The painting is in a largely untouched state of preservation. Close study of the canvas and its painted surfaces, augmented by scientific analysis and technical imaging, may yield insights into Schiele’s use of pigments, his painted surfaces, and his approach to painting. The primary objectives of the planned treatment are to stabilize areas of lifting paint and to reduce several distortions in the canvas.

TEFAF Talks are interactive panel discussions exploring today’s most fascinating topics in the worlds of art, antiques, and design. Paired with leading content partners, these talks showcase the knowledge of leading experts in the broader TEFAF community. This talk is presented in partnership with ICOM-CC and moderated by Nora W. Kennedy, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Moderator: Nora W. Kennedy, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, Photograph Conservation Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Janis Staggs, Director of Curatorial and Manager of Publications, Neue Galerie New York

Shawn Digney-Peer, Conservator, Paintings Conservation Department, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Shawn Digney-Peer is a Conservator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he cares for Modern and Contemporary paintings.

Ellen Nigro, Assistant Paintings Conservator

Ellen Nigro is Assistant Paintings Conservator the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Paintings Conservation at the Brooklyn Museum. Prior to arriving in Brooklyn, she was a Post-graduate Intern in the Conservation of Easel Paintings at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge. She is a double alumna of the University of Delaware, having completed a BA in Art Conservation and Art History in 2013, and an MS in Art Conservation with a specialization in paintings in 2018. Her graduate training included placements at the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis as the American Friends of the Mauritshuis-Fulbright Intern; in private practice with Gianfranco Pocobene Studios; and at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum.

Image: Detail of Egon Schiele townscape, Town Among Greenery (The Old City III), 1917