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Permanent Collection: About the Collection

Restoring Masterpieces

Throughout the year, works in the collection that need cleaning and repair are identified and transported to the conservator for treatment. The college continues to retain an excellent working relation with Barry Bauman, an independent conservator who works on oil and acrylic paintings in Chicago.

In 2007, Barn Interior by Egbert van der Poel was sent for cleaning. While Bauman was working on the scene of a woman and child inside a barn he uncovered a flayed pig-a butchered and stretched pig-hanging upside down from a ladder. This discovery gave the painting a new focus and clarified the composition. In addition, the discovery of a signature and date authenticated the work and helped complete a remarkable story. Read more about the discovery at Calvin News and Stories.

Barn Interior, Egbert van der Poel, 1646

Proper Handling of Permanent Collection and Loaned Artwork

Artwork in the permanent collection, and work received for display in the Center Art Gallery, must be handled properly. Student workers assist staff with the permanent collection and some of the incoming loans.

  • Cotton or nitrile gloves are used to protect the artwork from natural oils on hands
  • Only one object is moved at a time
  • Loaned artwork is unpacked, photographed and immediately inspected
  • The condition of each object is recorded in the condition report book and database

Exhibition Program Goals

1. to provide an ongoing educational opportunity for our students to examine works in detail over a longer period of time

2. to provide our art history students with an opportunity to research and relate the particular work from our collection to the larger context of a given period or culture

3. to enhance in a meaningful way the total environment of the College by placing works of art in public spaces thus celebrating our own rich cultural heritage and supporting the activity of our faculty, alumni and other Christians active in the arts



Borrowing Art

Artwork in the permanent collection is available for loan. For availability and lending requirements, please inquire with Betty Sanderson, Collections Manager, Registrar.