Georges Braque Works on Paper

These prints by Georges Braque (1882-1963) had been glued onto the reverse of their top mat and had suffered from heavy foxing. The print with the white bird also has fungal and mold invasions, and is also peculiar in that a shellac-like material was applied to the surface but not the back. This means that water will absorb on the reverse and not the front, and these different absorptions rates are notorious for causing wrinkles.

Restoration is ongoing with the white bird print, technically known as L’oiseau de feu (Oiseau XIII). Each bird received its own water (chemistry) bath, and soon they’ll be able to migrate back home with new mats and archival hinging.

Georges Braque was born on May 13, 1882, in Argenteuil-sur-Seine, France.  He grew up in Le Havre and studied evenings at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from about 1897 to 1899.  He left for Paris to study under a master decorator to receive his craftsman certificate in 1901.

From 1902 to 1904 he painted at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where he met Marie Laurencin and Francis Picabia.  By 1906 Braque was doing work which was no longer Impressionist but Fauve in style.  After spending that summer in Antwerp with Othon Friesz, he showed his Fauve work the following year in the Salon des Indépendants exhibition in Paris.

His first solo show was at Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler’s gallery in 1908. From 1909 Pablo Picasso and Braque worked together in developing Cubism; by 1911 their styles were extremely similar.  In 1912 they started to incorporate collage elements into their paintings and to experiment with the papier collé (pasted paper) technique.  Their artistic collaboration lasted until 1914.  Braque served in the French army during World War I and was wounded; upon his recovery in 1917 he began a close friendship with Juan Gris.

After World War I, Braque’s work became freer and less schematic.  His fame grew in 1922 as a result of an exhibition at the Salon d’Automne in Paris.  In the mid-1920s Braque designed the decor for two Sergei Diaghilev ballets.  By the end of the decade, he had returned to a more realistic interpretation of nature, although certain aspects of Cubism always remained present in his work.  In 1931 Braque made his first engraved plasters and began to portray mythological subjects.  His first important retrospective took place in 1933 at the Kunsthalle Basel.  He won first prize at the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, in 1937.

During World War II, Braque remained in Paris.  His paintings at that time, primarily still lifes and interiors, became more somber.  In addition to paintings, Braque also made lithographs, engravings, and sculptures.  From the late 1940s he treated various recurring themes such as birds, ateliers, landscapes, and seascapes.  In 1954 he designed stained-glass windows for the church of Varengeville.  During the last few years of his life, Braque had ill health which prevented him from undertaking further large-scale commissions, but he continued to paint, make lithographs, and design jewelry.

He died on August 31, 1963, in Paris.

Mick Jagger 138 by Wandy Warhol in Custom American Vinyl Frame

This is one of the 10 Warhol prints of Mick Jagger that were done in 1975. Warhol and Jagger had met in 1964 at a party in New York during the Rolling Stones’ first US tour at a time when both parties were beginning their rise to fame. They would go on to become close friends and to collaborate several times during their careers, including the Rolling Stones cover for Sticky Fingers that Warhol designed.

This print is known as Mick Jagger 138 and had unfortunately not been archivally hinged. Due to this, there were 16 places were acids had migrated from cardboard fillets and affected the internals of the framing. The frame was also not sealed, and over time air-borne contaminates had made their way inside.

After a careful de-fit the print was dipped in chemistry solutions to neutralize the acid contaminants and then dried flat with blotters. Archival hinging techniques and materials then placed the print in a our new, custom American Vinyl Frame that swapped the original frames silver color for a more arresting black that accentuated Jagger’s eyes and hair. To top off the framing, an 8-ply white rag with foam core and museum glass and an extra deep fillet were going. We’re very glad to get Jagger back into rockin’ shape.

Finished: Plat Map of A.G. Spalding Land Association

Along the edges of the plat mat we discovered that wood glue had been used to glue many weak areas of the paper. This was carefully reversed by softening the wood glue and then scraping it from the vellum and the fabric. Once the map was removed from the muslin it was treated with chemistry baths to neutralize and lift the acid stains. Paper repairs were then administered at the areas of loss, incorporating new paper of a similar quality. Some delicate in-painting returned degraded color to its original strength. Re-lining helped to improve the overall structural integrity.

During our research we learned that A.G. Spalding bought the tract of 773 acres from the Harvey Land Association, and this combined with a previous adjacent tract, brought his total to 903 acres. An article in The Economist stated that Spalding was poised to improve the area with graded streets, sidewalks, trees and other landscape adornments “calculated to make it attractive.”

Albert Goodwill Spalding was an American baseball pitcher, manager, and executive in the early years of professional baseball. He co-founded the A.G. Spalding sporting goods company, and following his retirement as a baseball player, he became the president and part-owner of the Chicago White Stockings. He would later call for the commission that investigated the origins of baseball and credited Abner Doubleday with creating the game. He also wrote the first set of official baseball rules. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, a posthomous honor, having passed in 1915 at the age of 66


Beatles Autographs and Photograph

This authenticated Beatles signature was written on a ticket stub for a show in Liverpool. The accompanying photograph is of The Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, which took place on February 9, 1964. The photograph and signatures had stains and tape residue that were removed and cleaned, and further chemistry baths neutralized the acids. A new frame with archival double-mats and UV-filtering glass was given to keep this treasured memorabilia ready to last for as long as Strawberry Fields do.

The Ed Sullivan show was part of The Beatles’ Winter 1964 US Tour. A record-breaking 73 million viewers watched the event. The set list included:

Part 1:
All My Loving

Till There Was You (Meredith Wilson cover)

She Loves You

Part 2:

I Saw Her Standing There

I Want to Hold Your Hand

At the time of the show, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the first Beatles’ record to top both the UK and US charts. Partly due to the Ed Sullivan Show publicity, the single staid on top for seven weeks, which made it the longest-running No.1 for their career at that time, and would later be surpassed by “Hey Jude.”