The Art of Virginia Strom Precourt 

2.

Acrobat: Night Blooming Flower

1960

Polyfresco

56 3/4” x 48”

Price: $ 7,500

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Virginia Strom Precourt worked with a group of scientists and artists at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston to study the preservation of fine art. To that end, she traveled with the MFA to Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Afghanistan, Nepal, India and Asia to study the deterioration of ancient frescoes.  Determined to develop a more stable medium, she worked with natural materials and polymers to create a medium that would be more resilient. After years of trial and error, she would prepare a mixture of polyvinyl acetate with ground stone, applying layer after layer of pigment to provide depth as well as permeance to the surface. To further test the endurance of the preliminary panels, she would bury the works in the woods adjoining her studio for as long as two years. The panels not only survived but were strengthened by the extremes of the New England seasons.

As Virginia continued to experiment with polyfrescos in the late ’50s and early ’60s, she discovered she could stretch with color and context as well as materials. As tight as “Acrobat” might seem, its circles of energy and color were a major advance in Virginia’s art and gave her the energy to extend her talent as a graphic artist into more open, expansive treatments.

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