R. Turner Watercolor Restoration and New Frame

This watercolor had been greatly effected by acid burns and other invasive contaminates. Tape was also adhered along the edges, leading to acid contamination. Deep cleaning treated the stains and chemistry baths lifted the acids. Sun damage was addressed by refreshening the watercolor. New museum mat and UV-protecting glass was given to a new custom frame, which we are quite pleased with and think it deserves its own paragraph.

A brand new design with a Spanish reverse slope and basket woven corners and sgraffito in gesso. Two tones of gold were incorporated, silver and regular. We are greatly pleased with how this new design turned out, and with how well it compliments the artwork.

Fish Fertilizer Canvas Banner

This banner for Jarecki Cemical Company’s Fish Manures was actually found in a wall, and was as insulation. Due to this out-of-the-sun storage, the colors of the banner have been maintained quite well. There is a fair amount of dirt contamination, however, as well as some degradation of the fabric. The banner will be micro-vacuumed and dipped in a cleaning solution and then allowed dried with weight to undo the folds. We’re presently sourcing some local barn wood that we’ll use to make a custom frame, the style designed to the client’s liking. Stay tuned for more. . .

The Jarecki Chemical Co. established by Gustav Jarecki in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1881. Gustav Jr, working for his father, was sent to Ohio to start a plant in Sandusky. Located on the foot of First Street, and adjacent to Sandusky Bay, its location made it convenient for obtaining fish, and also for shipping the final product by water. One of the best selling products at the Sandusky factory was a fertilizer made from fish by-products. The plant operated from 1887 to 1920, when it was sold to the Armour Fertilizer Co. (Armour ceased operations in Sandusky in the 1960s.) In the early 1900s, Gustav Jarecki, Jr. moved to Cincinnati where he established another branch of the company.

Van Duren German Fairy Tale

Oil on canvas circa 1870 to 1910 of a German painting of a fairytale by Cornelius Van Duren (1915 – 2013) came with a large tear, other small tears, scuffs that were minor, heavy airborne contaminates, and deep staining to the surface that masked natural color tones. The young women’s dress is meant to be ivory, for instance, and initial cleaning tests revealed the problematic degree of staining. The severity of the tear was due, in part, to the brittleness of the canvas.

The painting was carefully deep-cleaned, and tented to hydrate the canvas. With weights around the tear, we coaxed the canvas back into place, before performing a formal suture on the reverse. To give more strength to the canvas we re-lined with new linen, and in-filled the areas of loss. Conservation varnish finished the restoration, and a new antique custom frame is in production. Stay tuned for more. . .

Cornelius Van Duren spent part of his life in Holland, Michigan and was a decorated war veteran, serving 30 years in the army in WWII, Korean War and Vietnam. He received the combat infantry badge, bronze star media with valor, among other awards. In 1965 he moved to Long Beach, California where he lived until passing away at the age of 98.

The painting depicts Lily and the Lion by the Grimm Brothers.

Dali Bas Relief

These bas reliefs by Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989) were procured from a gallery for a client, restored, and then placed in new frames. Don Quixote is represented in the first bas relief, a common topic for Spanish art and culture. The other is of Lincoln, and is based off a painting Dali had done earlier called Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln. A couple versions of this painting were executed, but its inspiration came from a Scientific American article Dali read about visual perception which investigated the minimum number of pixels needed to describe a unique human face. Dali was challenged by that question and set about making the portrait of Lincoln with 121 pixels. In his canvas he pushed this concept of perception and external sight.The double image painting also provided a meditation on the dual nature of things. A well-known lithograph was made, entitled Lincoln in Dalivision. It is one of the the most counterfeited Dali lithographs.

Restoration included cleaning and polishing. The boxes they came in were also conserved: a solution was used to treat a small amount of mold, and the insides were micro vacuumed, and some loose velvet was lain back down with adhesive.

New, custom frames were prepared with white gold on the top and silver on the side. Corners were given sgraffito and raised gesso and carved. The Lincoln frame was also given corner blocks. These frames are one-of-a-kind, much like the artist.

Textile of Washington at Mount Vernon

This family heirloom came in with a fungal invasion, and acid contamination that we believe to have been caused by a stretcher bar. Cleaning, drying, and pressing prepared the textile for an archival mount onto foamcore that was then covered with a single-ply linen mat. A custom frame in the American Hicks style with veneer and black corner blocks was prepared and then given archival glass to finish. Every family heirloom is unique, but this particular textile, with the restoration and custom frame, gave us the opportunity to impart our diverse talents, to what we know will be a cherished keepsake for many years to come.

Christine Sullivan Frames for New Show

We were very honored to work again with the artist Christine Sullivan, framing her artwork for an upcoming exhibition of Cape Cod seascapes. The exhibition opens July 6th, and runs through the 26th, and is at the Oils by the Sea / ROCCAPRIORE Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. We’ve collaborated with Christine for the last three years, and have even designed a personal frame for her that we call the Sullivan Float. For this exhibition, some artwork was given that frame style, and others were given a Modernist Step. Both styles were given white gold.

Sullivan is a representational abstract landscape painter. Her subject matter captures the hard-working, celebrated life on the family farms of rural New York State and the fishermen’s life on the salt waters of Cape Cod and northern Florida. Geography has always been one of her strongest inspirations: “The . . . organic scents and earthy hues found close to the land and sea were embedded upon my soul at a very young age and continue to inform and influence my life and work.”

Hope College President John C. Knapp Portrait and Installation

The 12th president of Hope College, Dr. John C. Knapp, served from 2013 to 2017. It was a tenure that saw the launching of “Hope for the World: 2025,” a 10-year strategic plan to grow the college as a place of academic excellence, faith development, inclusiveness, and global engagement. He furthermore established the Presidential Colloquium lecture series that brings notable speakers to address national and global issues. And in 2016, the college joined the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan as an educational partner to bring international experts to the campus through the council’s Great Decisions Global Discussion Series.

The portrait artist was Larry Blovits (1936-). He is known for oil and pastel portraits, as well as landscapes. He has received numerous awards and honors in national shows since 1962.

We prepared an American Impressionist frame with 22 karat gold, detailed with a leaf motif, after the Twachtman style, and installed it professionally at Hope College. All but three of the frames in the portrait room were made by us, and the others we were restored by us. We are very grateful to be able to lend the portrait an esteemed quality, as well as an overall theme of tradition and excellence for the leaders of such an important and local institution.

Steve Nelson Gelatin Silver Print

Artist and Hope College professor, Steve Nelson, took this photograph in the UP of an abandoned iron quarry; this is a larger work with a frame size of 52″ x 43 1/2.” Gelatin silver prints are a general term describing the most common process for making black and white photographs since the 1890s. A variety of photographic print papers were introduced in the 1880s. It can be thought of as an in-the-camera technique that complements the wet plate process. The custom frame we made and designed with the artist is a Modern Gallery L-shaped frame with white gold, and includes a top mat but also a hidden reverse cut mat to give the illusion that it floats.

17th Century Drawing

This 17th Century drawing was probably intended to be a study for a shaped, final painting. The workmanship is superb, and shows great ability, but unfortunately the paper has not been handled with the greatest care. It is handmade paper laid with linen content, which is typical for early Italian sheets. The types of damage are numerous: water and ink damage, a fold down the center, pinholes where the artist likely secured the paper, insect invasion, deterioration, and asphaltum. The first step will be to clean and de-acidify the drawing. The asphaltum is on the reverse, and this will need to be carefully removed. For the areas of loss, caused by insects, chemicals, and aging, these will be replaced with paper consistent to the original. We are in the process of designing a frame, and are leaning towards an Italian style with a feather sgraffito.

On the left and right edge, there are stamps that appear to be household stamps that would have belonged to a wealthy Italian family and would have helped them to document their family items.