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Upstate Portrait Collection cleaning process underway

Upstate Portrait Collection cleaning process underway

If your visiting the Upstate Medical University campus over the next week, Hall, you may have noticed some portraits missing from their usual place on the walls. Don’t worry, they are safe and accounted for.

All 55 portraits in the Upstate Portrait Collection are being cleaned by Westlake Conservators, who will use the Scholars Den on the second floor of the Health Sciences Library as their on-site cleaning studio. (The Scholars Den will be closed to accommodate the work from Oct. 3 to 7.)

Cara A Howe, curator for historical collections at the Health Sciences Library, is overseeing the project.

“Environmental pollutants, such as dirt, dust, grease, or anything else that may have collected on a portrait over time, will be removed in this cleaning process,” she said.

The back of each portrait also will be cleaned and repairs made to the framing paper. The portraits are unframed for the process.

Howe said the portrait cleaning is a vital part of maintaining this important collection.

“The Upstate Portrait Collection has been a part of the campus landscape for decades,” she said. “This important collection celebrates the individuals who have left a lasting impact in medicine and science and who have shaped Upstate into the institution it is today.”

The portraits are expected to be rehung by Oct. 7, but not all will be in their former spaces. Howe said the selection of new spaces for some portraits helps provide better context for the subject’s role at Upstate.

For example, portraits of the university’s presidents will hang in the first floor lobby of Weiskotten Hall along with those of former deans of the College of Graduate Studies, while the former deans of the College of Medicine will take up space in Medical Alumni Auditorium. Portraits of the former deans of the colleges of Nursing and Health Professions will hang in the new Academic Building. Edgewood Art Galleries is handling the portrait installation.

Upstate University Hospital will be home to seven portraits of individuals whose careers had significant importance to Upstate’s clinical enterprise.

An online guide to the portrait collection will be updated to reflect the new locations of the pieces after installation is complete. (Hyperlink: http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/603560/SUNY-Upstate-Medical-University-Portrait-Collection/)

Future additions to the portrait collection will be governed by the Upstate Portrait Policy. Upstate wants the collection to be an accurate reflection of the Upstate community and a celebration of the diversity.

Nominations and questions about the collection can be submitted to Howe (howec@upstate.edu), curator of historical collections and chair of the Portrait Committee.

Caption: Portraits of past Upstate faculty and administrators hang in the Weiskotten Hall first floor lobby hallway.