Montana Immigration Document from 1894

This family document of Montana issued Immigration papers from 1894 had been stored with the papers folded. Creases formed that caused these areas in the paper to become very fragile. Substances of candy, shellac, and glue were found across the document. What likely happened was that these substances found their way onto the document at various times, and later, with water damage, these substances moved, pooled, and concentrated in the same areas, represented by the darkest spots in the photos. While difficult to remove, these substances tell a wonderful and rich history and give a glimpse into what the immigration process was like. Acid stains had also led to the deterioration of the paper quality.

Select Chemistry baths helped soften the paper and the glue that held them together. With careful scalpel work and water baths we were able to separate the pages. De-acidification neutralized the acid stains and lifted their discoloration. In-fill with paper of like quality mended the areas of loss, and the small detached pieces were reincorporated with an archival glue.

Before and After

Grand Haven Plat Map

This Plat Map detailing Grand Haven suffers from numerous creases due to folding, non-archival tape, and widespread acid stains due to the particle board it had been placed on and how it concentrated the sun exposure. This map is 45″ x 58 1/4.”

After carefully removing the tape we’ll support it underneath with a screen while we carefully dip it. This will treat the stains. It will then go through a series of blotter applications to absorb the contaminates and return its shape to plane. New paper of the same quality will be added where losses have occurred. A backing will be given to provide support.

Once complete this map will go on display at the Tri-State Historical Museum, and a facsimile will travel the local school systems as a teaching aid.

ALBRECHT DURER WOODCUT OF SAMSON RENDING THE LION FINISHED

Part 1

After water baths and a treatment in the heat press, this woodcut by Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) was dried with blotters, a lengthy process that took several months. This allowed the paper to carefully stretch back to its original size, a critical step for repairing the middle section where the tear had occurred and left incongruous edges. But, once the paper was back to size, these edges had good alignment, and this helped create a seamless rejoining.

Where paper losses had occurred, new paper was added with similar qualities. In-painting concealed the areas of loss.

A new Austrian/German frame in dark mahogany was prepared, and the print covered with museum glass, a premium type of glass that is exception with delicate images as well as causing minimal to no glare.

To authenticate the print, we compared known Durer woodcuts at the Snite Museum of Art at Notre Dame as well as the Grand Rapids Art Museum. We found the watermarks to corroborate with ours, and thus, verified it as an authentic Durer woodcut that was made during his lifetime.

Albrecht Durer was born in Nuremberg, Germany on May 21, 1471, the second of eighteen children in the family of a master goldsmith. Fifteen of the children died at an early age and Durer’s mother was often sick, especially in the last years of her life. Although his father was not pleased with his artistic ambitions, at the age of fifteen, Durer was apprenticed to a painter.

Durer is arguable the greatest artist in German history. By adopting the new forms of the Italian quattrocento and connecting them to the already robust tradition of the German print, he almost single-handedly provoked the Northern Renaissance. He had an insatiably inquisitive mind and this led him to be an avid travel, which he started in 1490 before he was nineteen. Up to this time he had spent a four year apprenticeship with master painter and engraver, Michael Wolgemut. He then went to Colmar, France to work under Martin Schongauer, but it took him two years to reach Colmar, and by then Schongauer was dead. His wanderings across Europe included two trips to Venice that were capped  by a year-long sojourn in The Netherlands, where he was a celebrity among celebrities.

In moving from Nuremberg to Venice, Durer reversed a whole direction of cultural priorities. The center to which German artists had previously looked were Bruges and Ghent in Flanders, along with the northern Gothic style shaped there by artists like the Van Eycks and Hugo van der Goes. What fascinated Durer was Italian humanism and all that flowed from the discovery of classical antiquity.

Durer married Agnes Frey in 1494, and in the same year made his first visit to Venice. He would return there in 1505 and stay for two years. Meanwhile he built a great house which still stands on the castle hill in Nuremberg. Durer was a rather indifferent and rude husbands. On his own he took his wife’s dowry and setup a graphics workshop, the products of which his wife was tasked with sitting at the markets and fairs and trying to sell them. He seldom traveled with her and many years later, when he did take her on a trip to the Netherlands, he allowed her to accompany him to only one of the many banquets given in his honor. When they did stay at home, she was left upstairs to eat with the maid.

The success of Durer’s work led the way for other German artists, Matthias Grunewald, Albrecht Altdorfer, Hans Holbein the Younger and Martin Luther’s great friend, Lucas Cranach, all of whose work made Germany for half a century the leader of the Northern Renaissance.

Beatrice Emma Parsons Watercolor Print Garden Landscape

This watercolor print of a classic perennial English garden by Beatrice Emma Parsons (1870-1955) suffered from acid stains, water damage, and loss near the signature. Chemistries were combined to treat the acid stains and the dirt particulates that were over the surface. In-painting concealed the water damage and repaired the lost areas. For the frame, new UV-filtering glass, fillets, and a back-up were given to allow the print to sit free of the glass.

Beatrice Parsons was an exceptional English garden painter. She studied at the Royal Academy Schools and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1889-99, but didn’t begin to paint floral/garden scenes until about 1900. Thereafter, her main body of work was in the painting of garden scenes, primarily English but also abroad. She exhibited extensively in Dowdeswell and the Greatorex Galleries, illustrated several garden books, including the Gardens of England (1908) and The Charm of Gardens (1910) and some of her works feature in the Royal Collection.

Louis Icart Etching Mimi Pinson

This Mimi Pinson print by Louis Icart (1888-1950) was on an acidic mount that had been attached heavily with glue on the reverse. Acid stains had worked their way to the front. We carefully removed the mount and used chemistry baths to target the stains. Blotters and weights then dried and flattened the work on paper. Mat and frame options are being discussed with the client. Stay tuned for more…

Louis Icart (French, 1888–1950) is considered to be a symbol of the Art Deco movement through his brilliant sketches and prints. He was born in Toulouse, France, as the first child of Jean and Elisabeth Icart. His interest in art began at an early age; he was particularly drawn to fashion sketches and designs. This was a time when the fashion industry was undergoing a revolution from the conservative 19th-century designs to the clingy simplicity of the early 20th century. Icart worked in major fashion studios where his L.I. initials on women’s clothing were highly regarded. He continued to sketch on every available surface while fighting in the First World War to ward off the anguish and agony of the war. He moved to Paris after the war to concentrate on painting and produced beautiful etchings. Icart’s prints were aquatints and drypoints elaborately done with great skill. They portrayed women in sensual, erotic poses with an implication of direct sexuality.

By the 1920s, the Art Deco movement had gained great popularity in Paris, France. Icart’s etchings and paintings, though largely influenced by Impressionists such as Claude Monet, were synonymous with the Art Deco era. His drawings also reflect the brilliance of Symbolists such as Gustave Moreau. However, Icart preferred not to be identified with artistic movements. Icart’s success financially and artistically came in the late 1920s.

His work was featured in fashion publications and design studios in Europe and the United States. His immensely popular images, which were considered phenomenal by 1925, included Laziness and Spilled Milk. His work has been exhibited in shows such as Paresse at RoGallery in Long Island, NY, and the Le Cachet in Binningen, Switzerland. His paintings are also featured at the Modern and Contemporary gallery in Fort Myers, FL. Hand-signed colored engravings by Icart can also be found at the Fine Arts Gallery Alte Kunste in Vienna, Austria, and at Zygman Voss Gallery in Chicago, IL. Icart died on December 20, 1950, at his home in Montmartre, France.

Source: Artnet

Marriage Certificate from 1884 Renewed

This marriage certificate from 1884 came in with a mold invasion and problematical masking tape along the edges. The tape was carefully removed and a series of chemistry baths neutralized the mold. Some areas of the paper were compromised and failing. These areas were removed and replaced with new paper. Further areas had paper loss, and new paper was incorporated to these. The ink had faded and it was touched up to darken the lines.

 

William Hogarth Intaglio Complete

These six intaglios from William Hogarth (1697 – 1764) came in with a fair amount of damage, primarily staining, but we did notice some old paper in-fill that was of a poor quality. Also, being quite old, these intaglios had accumulated a fair amount of dirt particulates. Main restoration efforts entailed de-acidification, critical for the health of any work on paper, and then reversing the old paper in-fill with new archival paper that matches the original. It was amazing to see how well these intaglios cleaned up and how much that helped reveal the detail of these compositions. Every corner seems to have its own scene, and there are numerous instances of miniature handwriting which now have impressive clarity.

Hogarth was born in 1697 near the East End cattle market of Smithfield. His father, Richard Hogarth, made an unsuccessful attempt to open a Latin-speaking coffeehouse, which left the family bankrupt, Richard confined to Fleet Prison, and the young William fending for himself.

After apprenticing at a silver workshop, where he mastered the art of engraving, Hogarth opened his own print shop. The artist’s first widespread notice came with the publication of The South Sea Scheme (1721), ridiculing the greed and corruption of stock market speculators. A Harlot’s Progress (1732) brought Hogarth tremendous success and celebrity, leading to a second morality series, A Rake’s Progress (1734).

Throughout the 1730s and 1740s, the artist’s reputation grew and so did his interest in social and moral reform. Hogarth’s work took on a distinctly propagandist tone, directed at the urbanization of London and the city’s problems with crime, prostitution, gambling, and alcoholism.

Industry and Idleness (1747) was designed to encourage young boys to develop a strong Protestant work ethic and thus achieve success. Beer Street and Gin Lane (1751), directed at the widespread sale and consumption of alcohol, were followed by The Four Stages of Cruelty(1751), which condemned rampant acts of cruelty to animals.

Hogarth died in 1764 in his home in Leicester Fields, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy. Working almost entirely outside the academic art establishment, he revolutionized the popular art market and the role of the artist. Hogarth strived to create works of great aesthetic beauty but also ones that would help to make London a better city for future generations.

Source: https://library.princeton.edu/hogarth/biography

William Hogarth (1697–1764). Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse, 1758. Etching and engraving. Graphic Arts Collection, Firestone Library.

Werner Koepf Collection

Roughly 70 artworks by Werner Koepf (1909-1992) have made their way to our studio. They represent the Koepf art estate and will be restored to ensure their integrity, and then sent to auction. The unusual aspect of this job is that, since Koepf lacks an established auction history, in order to not saturate the market, we’ll have to strategically coordinate a slow release and essentially establish his market; and by doing this, the project has an unusually lengthy scope for us: we expect it to take several years.

Restoration efforts have already begun and these artworks have been maintained well so the amount of care they need is only going to have to be minimal.

Werner Koepf was born in Neckarsulum, Baden-Württemberg, Germany and emigrated with his parents and brother to the United States in 1929. During the Great Depression he worked as a house painter. In 1937 his work was prominently mentioned in the New York Times’ review of The Society of Independent Artists 19th Annual Exhibition. With his talent he gained many connections in the art world: Morris Kantor, a trustee of Contemporary Arts arranged three scholarships for Koepf at the Art Students League from 1937-1939, and Daniel Catton Rich, the Director of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago paved the way for his inclusion in the Institute’s 52nd Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture in 1941.

Koepf served in the US Army during World War II. Starting as a translator, between 1942-1945, he was then transferred to the European Theater where he served with the 496th Heavy Automotive Ordnance Company. In November 1945, he returned to the United States and settled in Derby, Connecticut.

In 1952 he was accepted into Yale University where he was awarded the prize for outstanding achievement in the School of Fine Arts for 1952-1953 by Josef Albers. Maintaining his European contacts, Koepf showed numerous paintings, including one man shows in Paris, Stockholm, and Bremen.

Werner Koepf died at his home in March of 1992.

 

 

Surrey Watercolor

This watercolor had been on a mat that transferred acids to the paper and caused staining. Chemistry baths neutralized these stains, and after plenty of careful scraping we were able to remove the mat. There was some discoloration below the central trees that in-painting was able to restore. Acid-free, double mats then dressed up the painting and UV-filtering added protection. It was then re-fit inside the client’s frame.

We had hoped to discover the artist’s identity, but we were unable to do so. The only notation given by the artist was North Reigate, Surrey, which is a rather charming county south of London, but unfortunately none our cleaning efforts revealed a signature.

 

Glackens pen and ink with American Whistler Frame

This pen and ink drawing by William James Glackens (1870 – 1938) suffered from acid stains, due to the mount it was on, and a covering of dirt particulates. Once removed from the mount, baths of select chemistry were able to lift the stains, returning a clearer complexion to the drawing. Blotters were used to dry the artwork, as well as square the dimensionality of the paper and lay it flat.

Its new frame is a custom American Whistler with white gold, over yellow, red and black clay, which we think looks rather stunning with the drawing, and should keep the Sherwood Sisters happy and dancing for quite some time.

William James Glackens graduated from Philadelphia’s Central High School with John Sloan, and in 1891 became an artist-reporter for the “Philadelphia Record.” From 1892 to 1895 he held the same position for the “Philadelphia Press”. He studied with Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy where he formed a strong friendship with John Sloan, George Luks, Everett Shinn and Robert Henri; later he shared a studio and traveled in Europe with Henri. He spent a year in Paris where he painted many scenes of life in the parks and cafes.

Glackens settled in New York, worked as an illustrator, and in 1898, went to Cuba as an artist-reporter for “McClure’s” magazine of the Spanish-American War. He became part of “The Eight,” a landmark exhibition of urban realists, led by Henri, at the Macbeth Galleries.

The early work of Glackens followed Henri’s lead and maintained “strong ties to Edouard Manet’s darkened palette and brushy style of realism.” After 1910, Glacken began to brighten in response to his strong admiration of the work of French artist, Pierre August Renoir.

In 1912, he went on an extensive art-buying trip in Europe for Albert Barnes, a friend from high school who had amassed a fortune from an antiseptic gargle solution. Barnes built a huge home and museum in Merion, a suburb of Philadelphia, and established the Barnes Museum. The many works of Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh and Cezanne that Glackens purchased for Barnes became the center of the Museum collection. This project also firmed Glackens’ interest in the Impressionists, especially Renoir.

He died suddenly in 1938 while visiting Charles Prendergast in Westport, Connecticut.