The 1918 oil painting of an elegant woman in a yellow dress and a large black-brimmed hat once graced the cover of
But over the decades, "Louine," which
As a result, "Louine" has been in storage instead of hanging in a school hallway and becoming the subject of student essays, such as one on the Internet that said despite fading and darkening, "the painting still captures the beauty and realism of this portrait."
Help is on the way for "Louine" and some of the other 325 pieces that
The district is able to begin repair and restoration of the some of the works, thanks to proceeds from the sale of a painting that yielded about
The sold painting -- which was by far the most valuable work in the collection -- was a 1931 oil painting called "Interior, Light from the Window" by French painter
The proceeds are earmarked for care of the
On Wednesday, the school board approved spending
They money will be spent three ways:
Most of the works are on display in schools, and some are at the school board headquarters. Some were placed into storage after school buildings closed.
While the district hasn't had issues of vandalism, some of the works are showing wear and tear from being bumped while moving from building to building, too much humidity and other less-than-ideal conditions.
The district is creating mini-galleries, each with at least 10 of the works, in perhaps a dozen schools that are interested in engaging the students in studying them and writing about them.
"It's a great resource for children, and it's a great legacy for
She said writing about art helps students learn to write critically and master more vocabulary.
She said she wants all students to be able to "look at a piece of artwork or hear a piece of music and know if it's quality and being able to put it into words using the correct vocabulary."
The student who wrote about "Louine" and identified only as
He said the collection is a "pretty good history of the area since 1916" although the types of works selected over the years have changed. In recent years, students helped make the selections.
"When we started, we noticed there were a lot of portrait-type paintings and historical and buildings and scenes from throughout the
Ms. Abadilla said access to the work gives students an advantage. "They see the details. When you'?re looking at a print or a picture of something, you'?re not viewing it with the artist using the same materials."
While she has not seen the damaged "Louine," Ms. Daulton is optimistic she can help. She will be developing a plan to treat some of the paintings.
"Even with big tears, there isn't often a massive amount of paint loss," she said.
But her goal isn't to make the paintings look new.
"If you've got a 70-year-old painting, you don't want it to look like it was painted yesterday," Ms. Daulton said. "It's changed. It's aged. Cracking is part of that. We don't want the cracks to be so obtrusive you can't see the painting anymore, but we don't want to deny they're there."
Pictures of most of the works in the collection can be found on the Internet on an Associated Artists of
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