ARTHUR SCHNEIDER DUCK PAINTINGS FINISHED

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.

 

 

H. Melville The Lone Boat

This painting by H. Melville, The Lone Boat, suffered from smoke stains across the surface that were likely due to cigarettes. Its old varnish had yellowed and surface contaminates were also detracting from the natural color tones. The painting was removed from its frame and carefully cleaned which had a dramatic effect. The canvas had been placed on a masonite board that contains acids. Normally we would remove this, but due to the size of the painting (36″x24″) it was decided that it would be better not to disturb it.

The back of the frame contained information that helped us identify the artist as H. Melville, but unfortunately there is very little information available. However, and just as importantly, it allowed us to dissociate the painting with a very similar artist in terms of style, subject matter, date, and last name: Harden Sydney Melville.

Carl Hoerman Palm Springs Desert Landscape

This painting by Carl Hoerman (1885 – 1955) is a desert landscape of the Palm Springs region. The primary issues it has includes a dry paint film, specks across the front and back, cupping of the paint film, and the frame joinery of the corners has loosened. There is also some paper-like hive-making material used by hornets that was attached on the reverse and is seen in the video at the bottom where we carefully scraped some of it off.

New linen will be archivally adhered to add foundation strength. Careful cleaning and select chemistries will remove dirt particulates and the specks, some of which are mold. Consolidation will flatten the cupping and in-painting will conceal these areas if losses result. The frame joinery will be redone and a back-up incorporated to help the painting sit without stress within the frame.

Carl Hoerman, born in Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1903, at the age of eighteen. He studied and then worked as an architect in Chicago until 1920, when he built a studio and art gallery in Saugatuck, Michigan. Hoerman, with his wife, Christiana, also an artist, frequently traveled to the West and Southwest where Carl would paint desert, Grand Canyon, and mountain scenes. Later, Hoerman would become known as a “dunes painter,” because of his western Michigan landscapes. Hoerman built multiple homes in the Southwest, including the Casa del Desierto, in 1946, at Rancho Mirage, a small community between Palm Springs and Indio, a close proximity to where this landscape painting is believed to depict. By 1952, deteriorating health, forced Hoerman to forgo travels to the West. Carl Hoerman passed away on November 8, 1955 in Douglas, Michigan.

István Boldiszár Landscape

This landscape by Istvan Boldiszár (1897-1984) suffered from a mold invasion and dirt contaminates across the surface. Careful cleaning ridded the surface, and select chemistries were used to target and neutralize the mold. A new, custom frame will be prepared in Engelsen style. Stay tuned for more…

Istvan Boldiszár was a Hungarian painter and draughtsman, famous for his impressionistic plein-air motifs of Lake Balaton or the Hungarian lowlands. Boldiszár began his artistic training at the artist’s colony at Nagybánya and was taught by János Thoma, whose assistant he became later on. In 1918 he attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest.

In the years 1919-1924 he lived at various artist’s colonies and had a short stay in Munich. In 1924 he settled in Budapest. From 1941-49 he taught drawing at the local Academy of Fine Arts. As representative of the third generation of artists of Nagybánya, he is regarded as preserver of the heritage of the colony’s heritage.

Boldiszár has been awarded with several prizes, such as in 1929 the bronze medal of the World Exhibition in Barcelona and in 1931 with the landscape award. His works are exhibited at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich, at the Austrian Gallery in Vienna and at the Magyar Nemzeti Muzeum in Budapest.

Judson Tunison Portrait of a Bride circa 1900

This painting had craquelures and a major tear. Surface contaminates were severe and mainly from a wood or charcoal furnace. The tear was sutured from the reverse and in-filled on the front and then in-painted. New conservation linen was added to improve the foundational strength. Careful cleaning and consolidation to the surface was carried out. Conservation varnish supplied the finishing touch, along with an archival re-fit into the client’s period frame.

Judson Samuel Tunison (1868-1937) was active/lived in Illinois and Michigan, and was known for portrait painting, photography, teacher, and art restoration.

The frame is from the Newcomb-Macklin Company: a Chicago frame maker, nationally renown for hand-carved and gilded picture frames. They were in operation from 1883 to 1979.

Theodore Tihansky oil painting of School House on Monhegan Island

This painting by Theodore Tihansky, of the school house on Monhegan Island, came in with a fungal invasion on the reverse, and dirt particulates across the paint film.

A trio of cleaning agents were used to address the fungal invasions. Further protection was given by the Dutch Method that straightened the canvas and, on the reverse, added a layer of gesso. Careful cleaning was conducted on the front.

The Monhegan Island School is a treasured landmark and is still in use today. According to their website their “integrated classroom offers students pre-kindergarten through eighth grade an amazing opportunity to learn in a supportive multi-age setting and is enhanced by a tight-knit community of educators, artists, artisans, writers, poets, photographers, lobstermen, woodworkers, gardeners, business owners and more!

“Our remote location and beautiful seascape allows us to take a holistic approach to our teaching. Our classroom learning extends beyond our one room ~ our students enjoy 12 miles of hiking trails, a skating pond, lush forests, rocky shorelines, beaches, a shipwreck, historic homes, tidal pools, community gardens, lobstering, a museum, a library and more ~ all explored on foot!

Monhegan provides a rich, hands on learning environment for the arts and sciences and plenty of active, outdoor time to supplement our classroom studies.”

Theodore Tihansky (21st Century) received his formal art training at the Art Students League in New York City, Paier College of Art, and Lyme Academy of Fine Art in Connecticut. In 1991, he was awarded the John Stobart Landscape Fellowship with the concurrent opportunity to show at the Lyme Academy Fine Art Gallery.
Four years later in November, he opened the Theodore Tihansky Fine Art and Performance Gallery on Franklin Street in Newport, Rhode Island. At that time, he received wide recognition for his “Collaboration of the Arts” production.  Returning to Maine, Tihansky spent his first winter as a stern man on a lobster boat. In his free time, he was painting the harsh and splendid scenes of the island.

In his words, “The paintings are the end products; what is important to me is the moment, the experience that I have because of my painting. The people I meet and the things I do are the reason.”

 

Lemon and Chalice Still Life by Unknown Artist

This painting came in with flood damage that had warped the canvas and caused extensive dryness. The dryness then lead to craquelures, cupping, and areas of loss. Furthermore, on top of the paint film, the flood also left behind a residue that was obscuring the natural colors.

After the painting was de-fit, new linen was lined on the reverse to provide a strong foundation, which is important when the paint film is dry. Hydration was applied to the cupped areas and then weights were used to flatten them back into plane. The craquelures were in-filled and in-painted, and then careful cleaning removed the residue and brought out the original colors.

Although the signature became more apparent after cleaning, and although we had hoped to figure it out, we were ultimately unable to identity the artist.

A new custom frame in the style of Roma Vintage was prepared with silver leaf.

Two Cora Bliss Taylor Portraits of One Sitter Finished

These two portraits by Cora Bliss Taylor (1889-1986) are of the same sitter, and we believe they were painted around twenty years apart. The first in the pictures was originally a full portrait but was cut at some point. Cleaning revealed there were more paint losses than originally thought. In-fill and in-painting concealed these areas. The second portrait had a dry paint film, and had suffered some cupping. After de-fit, it was re-lined with new linen to give it a stronger foundation. This was done in a heat press which also helped to stabilize the paint film where it had cupped. Further stabilization was done with a small iron to target the more difficult spots. In-painting concealed the lost areas, and careful cleaning was carried out across the entire surface.

Cora Bliss Taylor was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 14, 1889. Her father was a veteran of the Civil War and passed away when she was 1 years old. During her childhood, the family traveled around the United States, and France when she was 11 years old, which is where she received her first art lessons.

Cora visited Saugatuck, Michigan, which was to become her home, on her honeymoon in 1914, with her husband, James W. Taylor, a Chicago attorney. She studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago with Leon Kroll and Leopold Seyffert; Charles W. Hawthorne, Provincetown, Massachusetts; Andre L. Hote in Paris; Morris Kantor, Art Students League, New York; and Vance Kirkland, Denver University. She was a contemporary of Georgia O’Keefe.

Mrs. Taylor won the Chicago Woman’s Aid Prize, Edward B. Butler Prize, and Fine Arts Building Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago where she exhibited a number of times. She also was accepted for a number of exhibitions at the Detroit Museum of Arts and won several prizes, including the American Association of University Women’s prize for her watercolor, “Abandoned”. In 1945, she won Honorable Mention for a painting exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She exhibited at the Chicago Galleries Association and other private galleries. Cora was a member of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, and is listed in the original edition of “Who’s Who of American Women”.

In 1931, she founded the Taylor Art School on Holland Street in Saugatuck, a summer art school, with visiting instructors. The Taylor Art Gallery attracted 2,000 visitors who signed the guest register that first year. In 1931, as Art Director of the Saugatuck Chamber of Commerce, she was instrumental in attracting many Chicago people to the Saugatuck area. Mrs. Taylor continued to teach painting for many years, specializing in children. Quite a few of her students went on to make a career in art.

Her paintings are hanging at Hope College, Holland, Michigan; Saugatuck Masonic Lodge, Chicago Public Schools, a number of Women’s clubs, Emerson Unitarian Church, Houston, Texas; Sheridan Public Schools, Sheridan, Texas; and many private homes in Chicago, Western Michigan, and other areas of the country.

Cora Bliss Taylor passed away at the age of 97 on April 21, 1986.

Cora Bliss Taylor, center with hat, circa 1941.

Chuang Che Diptych

“No art can mature by itself; it has to absorb nutrition from the rest of the world’s art. I’ve always had this ideal; to see a fusion of Chinese and Western painting.” -Chuang Che

This fascinating diptych came into the studio recently and is by an artist we are becoming quite familiar with, Chuang Che (1934-).

This makes the sixth Chuang Che we’ve had in our studio over the past several years. The previous ones generally needed minimal restoration efforts and were then either shipped to auction in the Asian market or sold through private means. The diptych is in great condition and only needs light cleaning. Whether or not it will be heading to auction has to be determined. Stay tuned for more…

Chuang Che was born in Beijing, China. His father was the Vice-Director of the National Palace Museum and a calligrapher. He was a great influence on Chuang and the unlimited access to the treasures of the Museum had a lasting impact on his work. The family moved to Taiwan in 1948 where Chuang enlisted in the Taiwan Normal University to study Fine Art. He was taught by the likes of Chu Teh-Chun and other modernist Chinese artists who encouraged the influence of the West. In 1958 he became a founding member of the Fifth Moon Group, whose aim was to fuse the traditional practices of the East with modern techniques of the Western avant-garde. Chuang became immersed in the modernist movement which was flourishing in Taiwan at the time.

In 1966, Chuang won the J.D. Rockefeller III scholarship to travel to the US. The following year, the Cleveland Art Museum and the Detroit Institute of Arts purchased some of his works. In 1968 he visited his teacher Chu Teh-Chun in Paris, where he also met Zao Wou-Ki, with whom Che found a strong artistic connection. He also travelled to Spain and met abstract artist Antoni Tapies.

Chuang moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1972 and finally settled in New York in 1988, where he became an assistant to abstract expressionist sculptor Seymour Lipton.

Chuang Che was greatly inspired by Monet’s Nymphéas series. His own paintings are a combination of traditional Chinese landscapes and his influences from Western Abstract Expressionism. As a result, Chuang Che is labelled as a pioneering figure in Chinese Abstraction. His adaptation of Eastern technique to western materials enables him to fluidly combine these two influences.

Chuang Che’s work has been shown in museums worldwide such as at the Hong Kong Art Museum, National Museum of History, Taipei and Saginaw Art Museum, Michigan. In 1992 the Taipei Fine Arts Museum held his first major retrospective and most recently held another in 2016.

Chuang Che lives and works in New York.

Lewis Cross Self-Portrait

This self-portrait of Lewis Cross (1864-1951) suffered from delamination, and in some areas this was quite severe. Craquelures were prevalent throughout and there were areas of previous in-painting that left a matte finish and contrasted with the rest. The old wax reline had failed and was no longer helping to hold the paint film.

By using the paper face method we were able to provide support to the paint film to then, from the reverse, remove the failed wax reline. Delamination areas were then targeted with spot treatments of a restorer’s adhesive. New linen was provided as a support and adhered in a heat press which simultaneously helped consolidate the areas that were flaking.

After careful cleaning and removal of the old varnish, the lost areas were in-filled and in-painted. Conservation varnish finished the restoration.

A custom Krasner frame was prepared with white gold over red clay, with a baguette that helps protect the edge of the canvas and prevents the frame from covering the edge of the painting.

Lewis Lumen Cross was born in Tuscola County, likely northwest of Davison, Michigan, but moved to a farm just outside Spring Lake on the western shore of Michigan in 1872 where he spent the remainder of his life. He attended Northern Indiana Normal School and Business Institute (Now Valparaiso University) at Valparaiso, Indiana, briefly between 1883-84 where he studied drawing and penmanship. Later, likely at the same place, he studied oil painting, a medium which he preferred.  There is no other evidence of any formal study.

Cross was referred to as an “incurable romantic” (Grand Rapids Herald, 28 February, 1940). He devoted his attention to subjects around him and, perhaps, was aware that this life was about to change; a feeling that was especially true of the passenger pigeons that he featured in a number of works. This same article stated that “Cross has taken care through the years to see that the outdoor glory that once was the district’s should not fade so long as canvas can hold good oils portraying memory’s patterns.”

The artist is known to have exhibited only a few times during his lifetime, including once in 1890 at the Detroit Museum of Art where he displayed a still-life of Crescent Strawberries.