Back in the limelight 

Sept. 4, the Indianapolis Museum of Art will open the Star Studio Exhibition Sebastiano Mainardi: The Science of Art featuring the work of IMA conservators on a painting by the Italian master Sebastiano Mainardi (1466-1513). The exhibition will allow the public to view the conservation treatment of this 500-year-old altarpiece, which is the IMA’s most significant example of Tuscan High Renaissance art.

The altarpiece has local significance, having belonged to popular American novelist and Indianapolis native Booth Tarkington. Because of its fragile condition and the difficulty of conserving it, the altarpiece was held in IMA storage for 40 years. The major restoration project will prepare the work for a return to public display. Visitors can watch the conservators at work, see videos and photos documenting earlier stages of the treatment work on the painting, learn about the tools and techniques used by conservators and create a panel to add to a collaborative artwork inspired by the altarpiece. The exhibition will include information on the artist, history of the painting and its state of preservation.

The exhibition closes Dec. 30. The IMA is located at 4000 Michigan Road. For more information, call 317-923-1331 or visit

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