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BYU to debut Carl Bloch exhibit


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PROVO -- Curators and employees at BYU's Museum of Art have worked literally around the clock for the last two days installing their new exhibit.

Since the artwork traveled from Denmark, the unpacking process was painstaking. In the art world, this is the moment when they hold their collective breath.

Then the big reveal --.the act of lifting takes on both strength and grace as a priceless painting, one of Denmark's national treasures, becomes part of a much-anticipated exhibit in Utah.

Conservators traveled with the works to oversee the process, conducting an inch-by-inch condition check, examining the canvas for any damage.


I hope that people will go as close as they are allowed and see how vibrant the paintings are. In the paint strokes, it's as if the materials can sort of come out of the painting. That's what I like to see.

–Pauline Lehmann Banke


"I hope that people will go as close as they are allowed and see how vibrant the paintings are," said Pauline Lehmann Banke, paintings conservator at the National Gallery of Denmark. "In the paint strokes, it's as if the materials can sort of come out of the painting. That's what I like to see."

In their hands is a paintings created in 1881. They are the works of Carl Bloch, a 19th-century master painter whose images of Jesus Christ are considered definitive by Christians the world over.

Some of the paintings are part of altarpieces in Danish Lutheran churches. Their parish councils agreed to loan them to BYU's Museum of Art for a special exhibition.

Everyone involved in this project has been studying reproduced images of these paintings for years, but to actually see them in person is a very emotional experience.

"Seeing the pictures just doesn't do them justice. Seeing them in person is just spectacular, so it's exciting," said Emily Poulsen, senior registrar at BYU's Museum of Art.

Carl Bloch said, "God helps me, that's what I think, and then I'm calm," Curators hope that is exactly what visitors will say when they see his works.

The exhibit "Carl Bloch: The Master's Hand" opens to the public Nov. 12.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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Carole Mikita

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