Miller Fenwood is a leading West Michigan restoration studio, providing services for artwork, furniture, textiles, ceramics, and other treasured objects. We also produce museum-quality custom frames. Our studios are located in Holland and Hamilton, Michigan. Please use the “Contact” tab near the top of the page if you would like to make appointment.

Member American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Member International Fine Art Appraisers.

Finished: Plat Map of A.G. Spalding Land Association

Along the edges of the plat mat we discovered that wood glue had been used to glue many weak areas of the paper. This was carefully reversed by softening the wood glue and then scraping it from the vellum and the fabric. Once the map was removed from the muslin it was treated with chemistry baths to neutralize and lift the acid stains. Paper repairs were then administered at the areas of loss, incorporating new paper of a similar quality. Some delicate in-painting returned degraded color to its original strength. Re-lining helped to improve the overall structural integrity.

During our research we learned that A.G. Spalding bought the tract of 773 acres from the Harvey Land Association, and this combined with a previous adjacent tract, brought his total to 903 acres. An article in The Economist stated that Spalding was poised to improve the area with graded streets, sidewalks, trees and other landscape adornments “calculated to make it attractive.”

Albert Goodwill Spalding was an American baseball pitcher, manager, and executive in the early years of professional baseball. He co-founded the A.G. Spalding sporting goods company, and following his retirement as a baseball player, he became the president and part-owner of the Chicago White Stockings. He would later call for the commission that investigated the origins of baseball and credited Abner Doubleday with creating the game. He also wrote the first set of official baseball rules. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, a posthomous honor, having passed in 1915 at the age of 66

 

Federic Rondel Sr Beach Scene Under Blacklight

Investigation continues after de-fitting the Rondel Sr Beach Scene oil on canvas. Waiting for us on the reverse was a promising and cleanly-devised keying method. However, the reverse contained the outdated wax reline method that is unfortunately rather good at gathering dirt particulates to the reverse as well as to the front of the canvas. Along the perimeter, more damage and canvas degradation became obvious. With the aid of the blacklight we were able to locate the areas of old in-painting. Some of these areas correspond to old tear repairs, the condition of which is waiting for us under the old wax reline. Once that reline is removed, we’ll have a better understanding for what we’re facing with respect to the tears. Stay tuned for more…

Frederick Rondel was born in Paris in 1826 but emigrated to America and was best remembered as being the only art teacher for Winslow Homer. He was also a successful landscape and marine painter who painted extensively throughout New England and as far as San Francisco. A recurrent subject matter for his paintings are views along the Hudson River.

Rondel’s New England landscapes and paintings of New York City were ultimately influenced by the romanticism of his teachers in Paris: Theodore Gudin and Auguste Jugelet (Jugelet himself being a pupil of Gudin).

It is known that in 1855 to 1857 Rondel was in Boston, having arrived from Europe, and one year later was in South Malden, Massachusetts, while concurrently keeping a New York City studio.
He was away from New York in Europe from 1862 to 1868, the duration of the Civil War, but returned to the city to be a faculty member at the National Academy of Design, where he had become an Associate member.

He exhibited at the National Academy, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and the Boston Athenaeum.

Frederick Rondel died in 1892.

Antique Clock Face Restoration

This is the type of clock that was made in the Netherlands circa 1850. The central image represents a coastal castle and includes two ornate swans in the water. In the arch, the recessed middle section includes a well-to-do home with guards flanking on the left and right sections. At the top of the arch is a run of houses and a sight we are very familiar with: windmills.

The clock face uses a heavy sheet metal with a substantial amount of copper, which is very a good paint surface. However, this surface has a few issues going on: heavy dirt particulates across the surface, and areas of paint loss, and areas of gilding loss.

We will carefully clean the clock face and in-paint and in-gild where losses have occurred. Stay tuned for more…

Ship Painting

This painting suffered from water damage that left a bulge in the center of the canvas. Furthermore, a considerable amount of dirt had found its way onto the front and reverse, and a mold growth had started on the reverse. Paint loss had occurred noticeably along the bottom.

The painting was treated for mold and then archivally re-lined to mitigate the bulge as well as provide more foundational support for the paint film. In-fill prepped the canvas where areas of paint loss had occurred and in-painting concealed them. Careful cleaning throughout the front and reverse, and archival varnish to finish.