La Salle University Art Museum
Online Exhibitions

Conservation Surveys

Female Nude Standing

Alma W. Thomas

Female Nude Standing, 20th Century

Oil on Canvas


Gift of Joseph N. Gennett 

Thomas was the first African American woman artist to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. A painter, sculptor, and craft artist who produced a number of marionettes, Thomas is known for the highly colored, abstract style of her late career. She developed close relationships with the Washington Color Painters, Morris Louis, Gene Davis, and Jacob Kainen, and found an accepting circle for her style. Thomas was included in the major Whitney Museum show, Contemporary Black Artists in America, in 1971. 

Condition of the Artwork (2009): 

The canvas has become slightly slack and has a slightly uneven, rippled appearance. There are fine, broad scale age cracks scattered overall. The thick, overly shiny, unevenly applied, yellowed varnish covers minor, old, edge damages and seems to have been added a significant time after the painting was completed. 

Conservation Treatment Proposed:

  • Painting must not be hung by the stretcher. A frame must be built for it, if it is to be hung.
  • The slight surface ripples may possibly be reduced by keying out.
  • The thick, overly shiny, unevenly applied, yellowed varnish makes the painting look bad. Remove/reduce the thick, shiny, yellowed varnish, if safely possible, with the appropriate cleaning agents. This will reduce the visibility of any slight surface ripples that remain, and return the painting to a state closer to its appearance when the artist first finished it.
  • Apply a thin, isolating layer of a conservation quality varnish overall.
  • Fill and inpaint paint losses with conservation quality materials.
  • All materials used will be appropriate and conservation quality. All work will adhere to the highest standards of the field.

Estimated Cost of Treatment:  $2,000.00