Many of the nation’s top museums have permanent collections so eclectic and robust that rediscovering their old masterpieces can lead to something extraordinary. That was — and is — the case at the NCMA.
History, mystery, and discovery are appropriate words for a remarkable exhibition recently opened at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. “History and Mystery: Discoveries in the NCMA British Collection” has blossomed into so much more than an exhibition showcasing the institution’s best Old Master British paintings and sculpture from 1580 to 1850. In concert with students and faculty from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University, the museum has launched a series of tantalizing seminars, lectures, and presentations that will “reexamine familiar favorites in the collection from new perspectives and … display a few ‘hidden treasures’ that have rarely — or never before — been on public view.”
The museum’s related events with the exhibition will commence on September 10 at 10 a.m. with an exciting seminar that “offers participants a chance to hear experts on the Tudor era discuss changing conceptions of aristocracy and power on display in the Tudor and Jacobean portraits that are the focus of the ‘History and Mystery’ exhibition,” the museum writes. “They will also learn how art conservators use technology and artistic skill to preserve the paintings and reveal secrets of their creation and history.”
Lectures and events will continue on September 11, 18, and 23; October 7, 21, and 28; and November 15. Descriptions of the topics covered — which range from drawing workshops, fashion, social circles, and, of course, history and mystery — can be found here.
“History and Mystery: Discoveries in the NCMA British Collection” opened on August 6 and will run through March 19, 2017. To learn more and purchase tickets for related events, visit the North Carolina Museum of Art.
This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.


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