Why You Should Know Ellen Baxter

Her conservation talents continue to breathe life into many of the works of art we enjoy at the Carnegie Museum of Art.




photo by maranie rae

 

About: Ontario native Ellen Baxter might be viewed as a hidden image — or force — operating unseen (and often uncredited) behind many of the works of art we enjoy at the museum. CMOA originally hired her to work on The Andy Warhol Museum’s opening exhibition; 25 years later, her conservation talents continue to breathe life into the collection as she keeps works clean and rejuvenates time-worn pieces, returning them to delight patrons’ eyes in Pittsburgh and sometimes beyond.

  • Baxter earned a graduate degree in conservation from Queen’s University in Canada and was a Mellon Fellow at Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum.
     
  • She’s worked on Monet’s “Waterlilies,” John White Alexander’s murals and pieces in several Carnegie Internationals.
     
  • Baxter gave major TLC recently to Picabia’s “Machine Sans Nom” (gouache on laminated pressed paper board) to retouch paint losses and repair cracked and flaking paint. That went on the road in 2016 to a Picabia retrospective at Zurich’s Kunsthaus; it’s now at MoMA for the New York segment of the show.
     
  • Her eagle eye and sleuthing skills helped Louise Lippincott, the museum’s fine arts curator, to reveal the identity of a 16th-century portrait of a woman for the museum’s “Faked, Forgotten, Found” show in 2014.
     
  • Despite staying behind the scenes, Baxter sometimes spontaneously interacts with visitors, pointing out overlooked subtleties in various works of art. In one of the Alexander mural panels, she insists there’s “an angel holding a hot dog.” As she explains, “If Bosch could paint floating sausages 500 years ago, why can’t Pittsburgh have an angel holding a hot dog that has ketchup and relish on it?” 
     

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Watch This ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ to Finally See Deb and the Kids

Watch This ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ to Finally See Deb and the Kids

“Street Light Stories,” the newest short film for the popular web series, finally shows us the characters who are on the receiving end of “Dad's” comments and criticisms, but who were never seen before now.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
First Look: Superior Motors

First Look: Superior Motors

Kevin Sousa's Braddock restaurant finally is open. So how is it?

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


A Band Called Creeper Made Me Love the Warped Tour Again

A Band Called Creeper Made Me Love the Warped Tour Again

Returning to the Vans Warped Tour proves that the long-running festival can still surprise — and, against all odds, it's even a great time for grown-up punks.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Stan's in Town Making the Rounds as Pens Celebrate

Stan's in Town Making the Rounds as Pens Celebrate

The Penguins’ successful Cup defense this season also has ensured trips to Canada, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Germany and Russia, as well as various stops in and around Western Pennsylvania.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Ease Your Way Into Style With These Slides

Ease Your Way Into Style With These Slides

Slide through summer with these trendy velvet slip-on shoes from Vintage Grace Boutique.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Valerian and Dunkirk are (Very Different) Winners

Valerian and Dunkirk are (Very Different) Winners

Reviews of "Dunkirk" and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Here Comes the Bride and Groom — to a Different Tune

Here Comes the Bride and Groom — to a Different Tune

Three Pittsburgh-area couples make strong arguments for choosing non-traditional songs for the walk down the aisle.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Noted Garden Writer Tovah Martin Headlining Summer Short Course at Phipps

Noted Garden Writer Tovah Martin Headlining Summer Short Course at Phipps

The author of "The Indestructible Houseplant" will lecture on creating a garden for all five senses and other green subjects.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module
Edit Module