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.

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