Nautical Harbor Scene Finished

This painting suffered from a considerable amount of dirt particulates across the surface as well as a very thin and fragile canvas. Numerous holes had occurred along the edges, including one good-sized hole along the bottom middle, and canvas degradation had greatly compromised the edges of the canvas.

The painting was de-fit and carefully cleaned. We had hoped that cleaning would render the signature more legible, but this was not the case. New archival linen was adhered to the reverse to bolster the foundation. In-fill consolidated the holes along the perimeter and in-painting concealed these areas. It took three rounds of cleaning due to the extreme amount of particulates on the canvas, which also included fly specks that had to be meticulously and carefully treated by a scalpel. A new stretcher bar and new frame with sgraffito with an archival fit rounded out the restoration.

Wayne Cooper Landscape

This painting by Wayne Cooper (1942-) came in with heavy dirt particulates across the surface from tar and nicotine, and also a tear in the middle of the canvas. Careful cleaning lifted the particulates, of which there were plenty, but the shift in color tones was not as dramatic as it sometimes can be. We’ve included a halfway cleaned shot where you can clearly see the difference, but the Cooper palette and its Western ruggedness proved to be both thematic and impervious to our cleaning efforts. It’s a stark, weathered landscape with a series of white doors drawing the eye from edge to edge. There is some in-fill we’ve done, also white, along the central building, which is where the tear was and is now where our patch has been sutured to. In-painting will conceal this area. Stay tuned for more…

Wayne Cooper was born in 1942 near Depew, Oklahoma. His talent was recognized at an early age, leading to intense training with Woody Crumbo, the Famous Artist School, Gary Artist League, Valparaiso University, the American Atelier in New York City and the Cowboy Artist of America Museum in Kerrville, Texas and with such well-known artists as Joe Beeler and Howard Terpning.

Cooper’s professional career started in 1964 in Chicago. He lived, painted and sculpted in New York City from 1974 to 1981. He returned to Oklahoma to paint and sculpt Western subjects. Wayne Cooper’s works are represented in collections throughout the world, both public and private. Many museums are proud to include his paintings and sculpture in their collections, including the Will Rogers Museum in Claremore, Oklahoma; the Oklahoma Heritage Museum; and the American Indian Museum in Catoosa, Oklahoma. He has also been commissioned to do several large-scale oil paintings for the Senate in the Capitol Building in Oklahoma City.

Wayne Cooper Art Gallery

Wayne Cooper

Landscape Valley Forge House

This oil on canvas depicting a landscape scene with a house reminiscent of the famed Isaac Potts House, otherwise known as Washington’s Headquarters at Valley Forge, is unfortunately in a condition that looks like it suffered a few winters at Valley Forge. Above the house is a large tear that was easy to note on the first inspection. However, once we de-fit the painting and turned it over, we realized there were many more tears. The canvas is extremely dry and fragile, and the edges are in a poor and compromised state.

We’ve removed the old restoration efforts in favor of something more substantial. A re-line will greatly improve the structural foundation of the painting, and give it the interior and perimeter strength it greatly needs. The previous tear repairs were removed since they involved a thick material, and, after re-lining, this thickness would cause the material to show through to the front, like an imprint. Rather than have that, we carefully removed them, and then re-lined the canvas with an archival linen.

Finishing touches to the front of the canvas need to be carried out. We’ll address the major tear and conceal it with in-painting. Stay tuned for more…

Guy Wiggins Landscape: Sunset Lyme Conn

This oil on canvas by Guy Carleton Wiggins (1883-1962) has a very dry canvas which has led to several severe craquelures across the surface, as well as thinning of the canvas along the edges, resulting in a few small holes and a  strip of threadbare canvas. Dirt particulates cover the surface, and once those are removed we expect the original paint colors to emerge.

In addition to the cleaning, this painting will be re-lined to give it foundational support. With the method we use, this process will also address the craquelures, laying them flat with the paint surface. In addition, in-filling and in-painting will conceal these areas. We currently have removed it from its stretcher bar and have cleaned the back where a fair amount of dust and debris was waiting for us. Stay tuned for more…

Guy Wiggins, the noted American Impressionist and one of the foremost artists affiliated with the art colony at Old Lyme, Connecticut, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1883. He was the son of Carleton Wiggins, a prominent painter associated with the American Barbizon School. He spent the early years of his life in England where he received a grammar school education and traveled throughout Europe.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Wiggins became interested in painting and drawing during his boyhood. His creative and technical abilities were acknowledged at the age of eight, when various New York critics publicly praised a group of watercolors he had done in France and Holland. He received his first serious training in architectural draughtsmanship when he studied architecture at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute around 1900. However his artistic inclination proved stronger and he went on to enroll at the National Academy of Design in New York where his teachers included William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri. Recognition and critical acclaim soon followed. When he was age twenty, one of Wiggins’ works had been purchased for the Permanent Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He received numerous awards and prizes on a regular basis, including the prestigious Norman Wait Harris Bronze Medal from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1917. Two years later he was elected a full Academician of the National Academy.

During these years, Wiggins spent most of his time in New York, where he specialized in urban snow scenes, often painted from the windows of Manhattan office buildings. He also produced many landscapes in New England. By 1920, however, he had moved to an old farm in Hamburg Cove, Connecticut, a picturesque area in Lyme Township. His father, a resident of Old Lyme since 1915, had introduced his son to the area during the early years of Wiggins’ childhood, when the family made frequent trips to the colony. Wiggins had also spent various summers in Old Lyme while living in New York, establishing an early connection with the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. During the 1920’s and 1930’s Wiggins divided his time between Hamburg Cove and New York. His reputation at that point was based primarily on his winter scenes. However, his Connecticut summer landscapes, fresh and spontaneous in conception, are now considered an important and equally innovative part of his oeuvre.

In 1937, Wiggins moved to Essex, Connecticut, where he founded the Guy Wiggins Art School as well as the Essex Painters Society. He also made frequent painting trips throughout the United States, going as far west as Montana. He remained devoted to the Impressionist aesthetic throughout his long and prolific career, despite the fact that American art had moved in other directions.

Wiggins died while vacationing in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1962. He is buried in Old Lyme. In addition to his membership at the National Academy, he also belonged to and exhibited at the Lyme Art Association, the Lotos Club, the National Arts Club and the Salmagundi Club. Examples of his work can be found in major public and private collections throughout the United Stated including the Chicago Art Institute, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Brooklyn Museum.

 

Guy C. Wiggins, c. 1910

Nautical Harbor Scene

This painting suffered from a considerable amount of dirt particulates across the surface. The canvas is also quite fragile and thin, particularly around the edges, and also has a few holes. Cleaning is at the halfway point, and what a transformation we’re seeing. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy the pictures as much as we do and ultimately our client will. After the cleaning is complete, re-lining will improve the foundational strength to help maintain the integrity of the paint film. Cleaning might also help us decipher the signature. Stay tuned for more…

Adolph Dehn Collection Restored

We are quite proud to continue our work for the Adolf and Virginia Dehn Foundation. This recent group involved five paintings and our efforts included restoration and building new custom frames. The landscapes received Marin and Dutch Modernist frames with black and silver, and Prudent and Scarlet received a Reverse Modernist frame in metal leaf. Restoration involved removing dirt particulates and addressing the areas of the paint film where it had suffered a loss of integrity, either due to scuffs and scraps, or dryness. These paintings were done on boards and several of the corners were broken and damaged and needed repairs. 

In the early 1920’s, Dehn moved to Europe, and developed his imagery of cabaret, park scenes, burlesque, and European landscapes of the roaring 20’s. He returned to the Midwest during the depression and by 1936 he started to work in the watercolor medium. He discovered a fondness for its characteristics of finish, fluidity, and adaptability for effects that could be either deliberate or spontaneous.

It seems watercolors also agreed with Dehn’s open, effusive, and passionate character. During the 30’s and 40’s, his favorite subjects were Midwest and Northeast farmscapes. His eventual home of New York City also became a frequent subject matter as he captured the essence of the city’s burlesque, Central Park, Harlem nightclubs, industrial yards, and areas of high society. In 1951, he published a book called Water Color, Gouache and Casein Painting.

He died in New York City in May 1968, and left behind a vast body of lithographs, watercolors, drawings and prints, which are in the permanent collections of nearly 100 museums across the United States and Europe.

Dame a la Chandelle and American/English Colonial Frame

This portrait masterpiece from 1778 suffered from dirt particulates that had accumulated on the surface and in the layers of the older varnish. The paint film was dry and this had led to craquelures and cupping. Furthermore, the canvas was brittle and had a low thread count. Numerous instances of old restorations added to the difficulty, as well as asphaltum on both sides.

After de-fitting, the painting was carefully cleaned and then re-lined with Pecap, a see-through material that will allows the signature on the reverse to still be visible. To coax the craquelures and cupping, further hydration was administered. Once the paint film was pliable, it was easier to return to plane. Losses were then in-painted, matching new colors to the original. Conservation varnish to finish. The stretcher bar had extensive beetle damage and was treated for the invasion and for dry rot, and given a Dutchmen to strengthen the weak areas.  A lift was added to keep painting further from the wooden structure.

An American/English Colonial frame made out of oak was hand-carved and gilded, and given a baguette fit and styled with a black clay inner liner. The gilding was done in 23 karate gold.

Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Montréal, Canada has included this painting in a chapter about “Lighting” for their upcoming publication of FIRE, which is part of a five volume book involving: Air, Water, Earth, Fire, and a final installment presenting artifacts from the Province of Québec.

 

Francois Beaucourt (1740-1794; also known as Francois Malepart De Beaucort) is known as the first Canadian artist to receive European training. His father was also a painter, and was likely the first teacher of Francois, though records at the time are hard to come by. What is known is that the father, Mallepart De Grand Maison, was a soldier who was believed to have gone to New France with the colonial regular troops. At this time, New France extended from Northwest Canada down to New Orleans, spanning into the present day Midwest, and skipping the Atlantic seaboard, which was controlled by England. Mallepart married in 1737, the wedding certificate described him as a “sergeant in the troops of the company of M. de Beaujeu [Louis Liénard].” It’s believed that by 1740 he had given up the military career to become a painter: the Montreal baptismal papers for his four children describe him as a painter. The first born was Francois, and subsequently the only living child of the marriage. Mallepart died 17 years after Francois was born, and his wife remarried to Corporal Lasselin, who may or may not have relocated the family to France. However, it was in Bordeaux, in 1773, where Francois married Benoîte, the daughter of Joseph-Gaëtan Camagne, a theatre artist and decorator.

Eleven years later, Francois departed for America; unfortunately, all the artwork he created in Bordeaux has been deemed lost. The next known trace of the artist was in 1792 when he surfaced in Philadelphia and published an advertisement in the General Advertiser. The same advertisement would appear in the Montreal Gazette, but in this case he changed the description of himself from a French painter to a Canadian one. Francois would go on to create a substantial amount of religious paintings and portraits, and it’s the latter where his talent seems to have found its strongest definition: his warm colors imbuing the subjects with a life-like quality.

He died in Montreal in 1794.

Francois Beaucourt

 

Portrait of a Young Man

This Portrait of a Young Man had been previously restored, but its condition had continued to degrade, leading to a flaking paint film, some areas of loss, some areas where it had been hit, and a dry and weak canvas that had been cut to the painting size, which can be an indication of severe damage that was simply amputated.

New archival linen was adhered using a heat press. Besides improving the foundational strength, the heat and pressure had the added benefit of consolidating the paint film. In-painting concealed areas of loss and conservation varnish finished the restoration. A custom hand-carved Dutch Modernist frame was prepared to complete this artwork.

Based off the information on the reverse, and the subject matter, style, and color palette, we believe this to be the work of Henry Hannig (1883-1948).

Born in Hirschberg, Germany on February 27, 1883, Henry Hannig emigrated to America with his parents at the age of seven. He received his formal eduction from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts under the mentorship of Lawton Parker.  To make ends meet, he worked in industrial design and illustration.

By 1908 he was a pupil in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where students followed the traditional European drawing curriculum, beginning with the copying of master engravings and drawing after plaster casts, then concentrating on the nude figure.  Students worked toward the goal of winning various academic prizes. One of Hannig’s fellow students was Louis Ritman. Hannig’s paintings reflected the mainstream American style of the early twentieth century — broadly executed impressionism.  Like so many others, he worked with a high-keyed palette and shingle-like strokes of broken color. Consequently, the same spontaneous “on-the-spot” image is found as the basis of many of Hannig’s drawings.

Unfortunately, Hannig had no wealthy patron who might have subsidized his career and he remained dependent on his various jobs as a commercial artist. Eventually he became art editor for the South Town Economist, a Chicago newspaper.  Meanwhile, he was involved with Chicago’s German community, in the Steuben Society.  He executed pen drawings that are quite within the stylistic boundaries of illustration, yet many are more powerfully rendered than a usual illustrator’s work.  Sometimes he executed Western subjects — cowboys at work and play.

Around 1939 Hannig moved to Charleston, West Virginia to work at the Union Carbide Company. He died on December 22, 1948.

Castle Over Mosel River by Frederick Trapp

This painting by Frederick Trapp suffered from an old and yellowed varnish with dirt particulates across the surface. The linen and paint film were dry, and the frame had lost some ornamentation and had become compromised at the joinery.

After careful cleaning and removal of the old varnish, the painting was relined onto new archival linen. This gave a substantial improvement to its structural integrity. New conservation varnish finished the restoration. The corners of the frame were re-joined and the small areas of ornamentation-loss were recreated. A lacquer application was used to match the color tones.

Encyclopedia Britannica: The Mosel river is a west-bank tributary of the Rhine River, flowing for 339 miles (545 km) across northeastern France and western Germany. Rising on the forested slopes of the Vosges massif, the river meanders past Épinal, Pont-Saint-Vincent, Toul, Frouard, Metz, and Thionville before leaving France to form the frontier between Germany and Luxembourg for a short distance. The river enters Germany and flows past Trier to its confluence with the Rhine at Koblenz. In this sector of the valley (German: Moseltal) are the vineyards from which the famous Moselle wines are produced. The Moselle River’s chief tributaries are the Madon, Orne, and Sauer (French: Sûre) on the west and the Meurthe, Seille, and Saar (French: Sarre) on the east. Above Metz the Moselle has been navigable to 300-ton barges since the 19th century. It connects at Toul and Frouard with the Rhine-Marne Canal. From Metz to Thionville the river has been navigable by 300-ton barges since 1932; below Thionville it was not navigable until the inauguration in 1964 of the Moselle Canal from Metz to Koblenz, built to take barges up to 1,500 tons. The canal is administered by a tripartite authority representing France, Germany, and Luxembourg. There are several iron and steel plants and power stations along the waterway.