These two duck paintings by Arthur E. Schneider (1866-1942) came in with heavy contamination from smoke and dirt particulates. Ducks Landing had a shellac covering that had turned brown and started to run. Ducks and Snipes had two significant dents and a few fingerprints along the right edge that appeared to have been done in paint.
Careful cleaning revealed to have significant results. It was a slow process with the amount of smoke and dirt particulates that we were able to remove. Hydration was another lengthy process, as the paint films were quite dry and this process required many applications combined with waiting periods. Ducks and Snipes had several hits on the surface that were evidenced by the circular craquelures. Hydration and in-painting helped to conceal these areas. Ducks and Snipes was also plagued by weak canvas along the perimeter. It was edge-lined to return strength and allow it to easily fit and hold to the stretcher bar. Ducks Landing suffered paint loss along its edges where it had been under pressure due to the stretcher bar. In-painting concealed these areas.
Preliminary restoration efforts took place back in August of last year. Some projects, due to their condition, need time to slowly be brought back to health. But when they’re complete the satisfaction is immense.
Born in 1866, Arthur E. Schneider was an American painter and illustrator from Madison, WI. He was best known for his landscapes and his Orientalist genre scenes depicting village streets, children and Arabs. He trained in New York City and Europe.
Schneider was to become the court painter to the Sultan of Morocco, Mulai Abd-ul-Aziz (abdelaziz of Morocco) [1878-1943]. He travelled to the country in November of 1900 and stayed until March, 1902. He took several other trips to Morocco, including one in 1905, in which he painted the Sultan’s portrait. In 1908, he built a painting studio in the Sultan’s garden. Schneider would travel with the Sultan to various cities including Tangiers and Fez, documenting the trip in watercolor sketches published by Century Magazine in 1903. The paintings were highly detailed and had a near-photographic quality, and had ironic names like “The Sultan and Play,” where the Sultan was playing pool.
Between 1905 and 1913, Schneider lived and worked in New York City. He moved around and was known to have lived and worked in Cleveland, Chicago, Tampa, FL, and Boston, MA.
He exhibited at the Salmagundi Club, American Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Boston Art Club, the National Academy of Design, and the Art Club. Schneider was a member of the American Watercolor Society in New York City, the Salmagundi Club, and The Art Club. His work is in the permanent collection of Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell, MA.
Schneider died February 7, 1942.