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Blue Birds

October 12, 1986

Shocking is not a strong enough word to describe my feelings after seeing Gainsborough's "Blue Boy" and Lawrence's "Pinkie" on the cover of Calendar ("The Huntington's Glorious Restoration," by Suzanne Muchnic, Sept. 28).

Both recently cleaned paintings were being carried across a driveway in the wide-open and without benefit of protective blankets. The surfaces of the canvases were exposed.

It's hard to believe that not a single person in a curatorial or transport capacity was aware of the fact that there are birds flying around Southern California.

These very same birds are not discriminating where they leave their deposits. Leaving these paintings exposed was totally inexcusable and totally unprofessional.

GODFREY O. GASTON

Encino

According to Huntington Curator Robert R. Wark, "Pinkie" and "Blue Boy" were carried only about 300 feet from the library to the gallery, over stairs, curbs and other terrain that precluded more conventional means of transport. If any "blessings from on high" had been delivered by birds, they would have disappeared during a subsequent cleaning. (Calendar erroneously reported that the paintings were cleaned before being displayed in the library. In fact they were refreshed after their return to the gallery.)

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