WWII Flight Control Panel

This flight control panel was used by the client’s father during WWII. Unfortunately the corner molding has suffered some losses, and there is a heavy accumulation of dirt particulates.

The front and reverse will be carefully cleaned. As you can see, the front has several types of materials, along with different textures, and this will require some problem-solving as to determining which cleaning agents to use, but we don’t expect that to be too challenging. The neat part is that we’re going to incorporate an audio device on the back, and with a touch of one of the buttons, we’ll have it play recordings that the client has of her father actually using this flight panel. Stay tuned for more …

Dutch Winterscene

This wonderful oil on panel has a period Dutch frame that unfortunately has a number of problems and will need a full restoration. Those problems include ornamentation falling off, corners pulled apart, areas with lost gilding, and improper spacing that is strenuous for the painting.

Casts will be prepared to redo the ornamentation, and the corners re-joined. Where the gesso was lost, new gesso will be applied. Back-up will be added to allow the painting to sit with greater freedom, and the epoxy on the panel will be removed,  and the cupping and cracking existent there, will be repaired with a combination of restorer adhesives.

The painting has a varnish that has aged into a milky color. It will need to be removed, which will be more challenging than usual. Early tests have revealed a wonderful touch of white in the varnish that the artist used to mimic snow. Shellac also landed on the paint surface and left splotches. These will be carefully removed.

We discovered a signature behind the rabbet and are in the process of identifying it.

Flyn WWII Portrait 1948

This keepsake, a family portrait, had previously been restored poorly. Originally there was damage due to a hard hit, as well as an unrelated hole near the center of the painting. The previous restorer cut the painting and wax-relined the picture, but due to humidity and other environmental factors the wax re-line delaminated and produced a number of large bubbles. We carefully removed the painting from the stretcher bar, and then from the reverse we gently used heat to loosen the wax re-line that we were eventually able to get in full by gently scraping as well as targeted chemical baths. Once it was gone we were then able to flatten the bubbled areas. The front surface was then cleaned and the portrait relined onto new linen, and then re-stretched using the original stretcher bar. After some in-painting and two coats of conservation varnish the portrait was placed in one of our custom whistler frames done in white gold.

A Step Above the Rest

The American Step frame is one of the more versatile framing options. It’s secret is a simple design that allows it to compliment a wide range of subjects. The first painting is of Aurel, France, a commune in southern France known for being a perched village architecturally highlighted by a 12th Century church and a 13th Century chateau. Olendorf (1924-1996), the artist, has captured the commune at a distance, above and beyond a bevy of violet flowers, and it’s the American Step frame that subtly guides the viewer’s eye “into” the work. You could say the frame “invites” the viewer into the complex flower brushwork and the distant buildings simultaneously that the eye is not quite sure of which to focus on first. But with the American Step frame guiding the eye into the work, both in time will receive the attention they are due. On the other end of the spectrum, the second painting, also by Olendorf, is of the more modern Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In it you’ll find buildings that are taller than the perspective in the painting, and this vertically is strengthened by the straight-standing trees. This painting gives off the feeling of “up and up,” the opportunity and optimism that cities are known for. What you don’t want is for the frame to block this sense of growth and expansion. The American Step frame is also capable of helping the artwork expand, or “have a life” beyond its dimensions. It does this with a soft, quiet border that allows the eye to easily pass beyond it. These are two great examples of how artwork and frames can work together.