Art: Face Lifting in Brooklyn

The lady in the picture had good looks and a title: Lady Georgiana Gordon. Moreover, she was by the respected hand of 18th Century British Portraitist John Hoppner. But she was in poor condition, her complexion sallowed by a thick coat of yellow varnish. When the Brooklyn Museum got her as a gift in 1934, officials dismissed Lady Georgiana as an inferior Hoppner, sent her to the basement. Recently, Brooklyn assigned Restorer Sheldon Keck to give her a thorough face lifting.

Keck gave the portrait a good going-over with a magnifying glass, then with X-ray photographs. Sure enough, under the pretty features...

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