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.

Picasso Peace Dove in Custom Spanish Ear Carved Corner Frame

This work on paper suffered from dirt particulates across the surface and acid stains stemming from tape adhesive. Over time the condition of the paper had turned dry. Careful cleaning removed the dirt particulates and select chemistry baths neutralized and lifted the stains while also adding hydration to the paper. The tape and tape residue was carefully removed.

A new custom hand carved frame was prepared in the Spanish style with carved corners gilded in golden and the columns gilded in white gold.

Fishing Scene by JA Hekking

This painting by Joseph Antonio Hekking (1830 – 1903) suffered from dirt particulates and heavy residue across the surface. The painting had been executed on a canvas and then attached to a board. There was mold on the canvas, and the canvas no longer provided a stable foundation for the paint film. As a result, dryness of the paint film had led to cracking and caused what is known as craquelures. There were three holes in the canvas that had led to paint loss.

The painting was de-fit and then carefully removed from its board mount. Then the mold was treated and the canvas archivally adhered to new linen to provide additional strength. This process involved a heat press, with the pressure of that machine helping to stabilize the craquelures. Careful cleaning removed the dirt particulates and other surface residue. Fortunately, the canvas tears were shallow enough that they could be treated by the relining; in-filling and in-painting concealed these areas, and further in-painting addressed the craquelures. Conservation varnish to finish.

A new custom, hand carved frame was prepared in the style of the American Whistler Reverse Antique with 22 karat gilding and a black lacquer liner.

J. A. Hekking (1830-1903) was a versatile and talented landscape painter who lived in New York and Connecticut and was active from the early 1850’s to the later 1870’s.  Hekking was a frequent participant at major exhibitions. His paintings were inspired by the Adirondack and White Mountains, Connecticut, New York views, and the Jersey shore.  He worked with Frederick Rondeland.  His paintings were actively acquired by important collectors including J.S. Farrand, Sarah Holderby, N.L. Lindsey, T. Foster, and George Watter Vincent Smith.

Hekking exhibited at the National Academy of Design (eight paintings between 1859 and 1875); the 1865 Michigan State Fair; the Crystal Palace in New York, 1853; Cosmopolitan Art Association, 1858; Utica Art Association, 1868; Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, 1869; Boston;1869; the Buffalo YMCA, 1861 and the Chicago Industrial Exposition in 1876. Hekking is listed in the exhibition records of the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Groce and Wallace New York Historical Society Dictionary of Artists in America.

Approaching Storm by George Waller Parker (1888-1957)

This painting by George Waller Parker (1888-1957) contained an old wax reline that was failing. This leads to drying of the paint film that leads cupping where the paint lifts from the canvas. The surface was also suffering from dirt particulates and a lacking depth to the stretcher bar that led to a crease all along the edge.

After being de-fit the wax re-line was removed and the painting carefully cleaning. New archival linen was adhered to the reverse and the paint-film, along the cupping, was consolidated. This has the propensity to leave some areas of loss, which were then in-painted to conceal them. New conservation varnish to finish, and a lift to the stretcher bar to allow the canvas to sit clear and without the stress that led to the previous crease lines.

George Waller Parker was born in Gouverneur, New York in 1888.  He studied art at Brown University, at the Art Student League in New York City, and at the Grande Chaumiere and Academie Colarossi in Paris, France.

He was known to have lived in Summerville, South Carolina; Portland, Maine; Nantucket, Rhode Island; and New York City as late as 1953.  He taught Summer School in Nantucket in 1940.  He painted in oils and acrylics, and his preferred subjects were landscapes, rainbows, streets, and harbor views.  He traveled extensively throughout Indonesia, including Bali, to Japan, Canada, and Mexico.

Parker was a member of the Salmagundi Club, Portland Society of Artists, Allied Artists of America, Artists Fellowship, Audubon Artists, Societe Coloniale des Artistes Francaises, Fine Arts Federation of New York, American Artists Professional League, and Grand Central Art Galleries.

He exhibited at the National Academy of Design 1928-1938, in Strasbourg, Germany; (Prize), Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Art Institute of Chicago; Kansas City Art Institute; Springfield Museum of Art; Paris Salon; Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, and in other exhibitions in New York City, Paris, France, Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois.

His work is represented at the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, at the Newark Museum of Art, at the Sweat Memorial Museum of Art, at the Lake Placid Club, at the New York Historical Society, at the Saranac Public Library, at the U.S. Navy Building, Washington, DC, at the Trudue Sanitarium, at the Baltimore Museum of art, at the American Artists Professional League, and at the Reception Hospital, Saranac Lake.

George Waller Parker died in New York City, New York in 1957.

 

Frank Dudley Dune Painting with American Impressionist Frame

This Dune painting by Frank Virgil Dudley (1868-1957) suffered from heavy smoke and dirt particulates across the surface. There was some paint loss along the top as well as a crease around the perimeter due to the stress caused by the stretcher bar, and there were some craquelures that were discovered.

The cleaning process had a tremendous effect, but it made the craquelures more apparent. Consolidation returned these areas to plane, and in-fill and in-painting concealed them.

A new custom and handmade American Impressionist frame was made with carved corners and gilded with 22 karat gold.

In an auction at the beginning of the year, Frank Dudley set his career high mark, and we glad to see not only the appreciation for the style of American Impressionism, but also the appreciation for the “Painter of the Dunes,” as Dudley became to be known as.

Frank Dudley (1868-1957), born in Delavan, Wisconsin, had worked as a youth with his father as a house painter.  Frank was one of three brothers born to deaf-mute parents, James A. and Flora Virgil Dudley. Communicating in sign language, James Dudley taught his sons the craft of house painting. James also had some skill as a draftsman and easel painter, and Frank likely received his earliest art instruction from his father. He also studied easel painting with Albert McCoy, who was a visiting artist from Chicago, and then moved to Chicago where he took a job as a commercial engraver.  He attended night classes at the Art Institute where he studied under John H. Vanderpoel and Charles Boutwood. Around this time he also had an introduction to Impressionism by way of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Frank married Mahala Boxwell several years before their son Paul was born in 1898, and he supported his family with his artwork. Following the sudden death of his wife in 1904, Frank Dudley turned to plein air landscape painting.

In 1911, he visited the Indiana Dunes for the first time, and began to record the scenery there. In 1913 he married his second wife, Maida Lewis, with whom he spent the rest of his life. With Maida often seated nearby, he painted the Dunes in all seasons.

In 1921, having gained much positive attention for his regional focus, Dudley closed the small art supply business he was running in Chicago, and built a cabin for full-time painting on Lake Michigan near Chesterton, Indiana.  He was able to build the cabin with money he received from winning the Logan Prize of the Art Institute for his painting, Duneland, and from then selling the painting to the Art Institute.

Dudley’s studio and cottage became a gathering place for many painters attracted to the Indiana Dunes and to the variances of the shoreline.  The artists, including Dudley, became champions of preservation for the area, and the beauty of their canvases stirred the public pressure that led in 1923 to the establishment of two-thousand acres as the Indiana Dunes State Park.

At that time, Dudley made an arrangement to be able to keep his cabin as rental property within the park in exchange for one painting a year donated to the Indiana State Department of Conservation.  Living in the Park for over thirty years, he died in 1957.

Exhibition venues include the Hoosier Salon, Art Institute of Chicago, Cedar Rapids Art Association, Corcoran Gallery and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.