Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Art Conservation, M.A., C.A.S.


Art Conservation Department


Fiona Beckett

Department Home page

First Reader

Rebecca Ploeger

Second Reader

Glennis Rayermann

Third Reader

Jiuan Jiuan Chen


“Mother and Children” is a painting belonging to the collection of the Garman Art Conservation Program at SUNY Buffalo State College. The painting depicts a seated woman with light skin and dark hair and two children. The painting was damaged in the past, and the image was obscured by thick layers of grime and oxidized varnish. It had also been previously treated on at least two occasions. A full technical analysis and conservation treatment was completed. The methods of analysis included multi-modal imaging, x-radiography, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, and cross-sectional analysis. The goal of the analysis was to determine the artist’s working technique, identify materials, and provide further information about the time period and construction of the painting. Material identification was also executed to inform the treatment. The painting underwent both structural and aesthetic treatment to stabilize and aesthetically reintegrate areas of the composition. The treatment successfully improved the painting both structurally and aesthetically. While the identity and provenance of the painting is unknown, due to the research and treatment undertaken the composition is established as that of mid-19th century French artist Hugues Merle.