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A Secret Lost Drawing

Simeon Solomon unfinished sketch of a man

In 2017, the Library’s preservation team worked to preserve and digitally reformat a Simeon Solomon pastel, Love Bound and Wounded that is housed in the Georgetown University Library Art Collection. The drawing had been mounted onto a poor-quality matboard that left a thick adhesive residue. A thin piece of paper within the frame was also adhered to the back of the drawing. Because of the incredible delicacy of pastel drawings, conservators took extreme care with the piece; and when they had finished conservation, they used the opportunity to digitize both sides of the drawing. After removing the matboard, the team noticed a faint drawing on the back that appeared to be in Simeon Solomon’s hand. Digitizing the back of the pastel drawing documented this new discovery, and Library staff then used technology to enhance the image further; which revealed even more of the figural composition. See how the image was enhanced in this brief video below.

This find is exciting for the Library and for scholars of Solomon’s work and his contemporaries. Are you interested in doing research on this new find? Reach out to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections!