Over a year later, a historical treasure has returned to the South Dakota Art Museum.
Harvey Dunn’s painting, Battleground, has been at the Upper Midwest Conservation Association, UMCA, for 18 months being restored. But on Monday, Feb. 7, the painting returned and is on display once again in the Art Museum.
The picture displays a young girl with an eerie, distant look in her eyes next to an older gentleman in the middle of a war-stricken ‘battleground’. Not only had time affected this wonderful piece of art (Dunn had painted it in 1923), but the painting also had several other factors contributing to its deterioration. On this piece of work, Dunn had outdone himself in setting more than an inch of paint on certain portions of the canvas, giving the depiction a more textured appeal. This caused the painting to crack easily and actually start to separate from the canvas. Also, the painting’s previous frame provided an inadequate amount of support. It now has a new frame that provides plenty of support for the thick, heavy portrait.
Later this month, the Art Museum will have a “Night of Celebration” for the homecoming of this beautiful piece of art. On Feb. 25 at 7 p.m., David Marquis, Senior Paintings Conservator for the UMCA, will give a speech on his process of conserving the painting. After Marquis’ talk, a reception will follow, where Marquis as well as other Art Museum Board Members will be available for questions and comments. For more information on the event, call Lynn Verschoor at 605-688-4279.