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.

 

William Hogarth Intaglios

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 is of poor quality. Also, being quite old, these intaglios have accumulated a fair amount of dirt particulates. Main restoration efforts will entail de-acidification, critical for the health of any work on paper, and then reversing the old paper in-fill with new paper that matches the original. The are some oil stains that we’ll negate with select chemistries. The intaglio in the worst condition has suffered some losses of the ink, but we’ll be able to touch that up. All works will be carefully cleaned. Stay tuned for more…

William Hogarth FRSA (Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts) was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic, and editorial cartoonist. Works by him ranged from realistic portraiture, to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects,” with the best known being his moral series: A Harlot’s Progress, A Rake’s Progress and Marriage A-la-Mode. His influence is so great that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian.”

He was born in Bartholomew Close, near Smithfield Market, London, on 19 November 1697, the eldest surviving of the nine children of Richard Hogarth and Anne Gibbons. His father opened a coffeehouse when William was five, but it failed and his father was confined for debt. Hogarth lived with his family, from 1708 to 1712, within the jurisdiction of the Fleet prison, an experience he never forgot. Unable to aspire to anything higher, he was apprenticed in 1713 or 1714 to Ellis Gamble, a silver engraver. In 1720 he set up on his own as a print engraver, operating from home, and was an original subscriber to the academy of St. Martin’s Lane founded by Louis Chéron and John Vanderbank.

Hogarth published his first satirical print in 1721, and his first major series in 1726. He began painting in about 1726 and achieved a rapid success, executing small genre and comic scenes, several versions of an episode from The Beggar’s Opera, and conversation pieces, some with interior and others with outdoor settings. In 1729 he eloped with Jane Thornhill, the daughter of the eminent history painter Sir James Thornhill. The couple, forgiven, were allowed to move into Thornhill’s house in the Great Piazza, Covent Garden, in 1731, but two years later they moved to Golden Head, Leicester Fields, where Hogarth remained for the rest of his life.

In 1730 Hogarth painted his first series of “modern moral Subject[s],” launching a subscription for engravings the following year; he was characteristically original in dispensing with both engraver and printseller, performing these functions himself. As a result of piracies of his engravings Hogarth instigated an Engraver’s Copyright Act, delaying the publication of his second great moral series, A Rake’s Progress, until the act became law in 1735. By this time, however, the Rake had already been pirated. Also in 1735 he founded the better known St. Martin’s Lane Academy, where by all accounts he was an inspiring teacher; the academy quickly became the focus of avant-garde rococo art in Britain.

To forestall the commission’s going to a foreigner, Giacomo Amiconi, Hogarth offered to paint without payment two large murals over the staircase of Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital; he completed these in 1737. Enraged at the success of Jean-Baptiste Van Loo, another foreigner who had established himself in London in 1737, Hogarth turned to portraiture, and in 1740 presented his deliberately informal full-length of Captain Coram to the Foundling Hospital, of which he was a founding governor. With the idea of creating a permanent exhibition where fashionable patrons could admire the best in contemporary British painting, he coordinated the donation by artists of paintings that would hang in the Foundling Hospital offices; the newly decorated Court Room was unveiled in 1747. He also promoted the pictorial decoration at Vauxhall Gardens, the most popular of London’s many pleasure gardens, which was owned by a friend of his.

In 1743 Hogarth traveled to Paris to hire engravers for Marriage à la Mode, published in 1745. The twelve plates of Industry and Idleness, cheap engravings intended for a wide public, for which no paintings were produced, followed in 1747. The artist made a second trip to Paris in 1748 and was expelled from Calais, having been accused of spying. The following year he bought a country house in Chiswick (now a Hogarth museum). He remained active during the 1750s, and in 1757 was appointed Serjeant Painter to the King. He resented Sir Richard Grosvenor’s refusal to purchase Sigismunda, which in effect he had commissioned, and became increasingly embittered, a prey to persecution mania. He was ill for a whole year between 1760 and 1761. Although he contributed seven pictures to the Society of Artists exhibition in 1761, his health was in decline, and he died in Leicester Fields on 25 October 1764.

Barbie Palooza

1960s era Barbie Dream House, new and original, University, and School Bus that unfolds into a classroom, with a slew of loose furniture have occupied our work tables recently. There is enough square footage in the collection to start a small community, or maybe to add to a young girl’s dream, or perhaps for an older one to reminisce about the good old days. The condition of the pieces vary but are overall, considering the age of them, in rather good shape. Our principal effort is to clean and improve the surface of these rather intricate pieces of nostalgia.

Charles Dwyer Portrait of Girl with Custom Frame

This pastel and watercolor came in troubled by a few acid stains and loose pastel. A seal was applied to keep the pastel from moving, and chemistry baths neutralized the stains. Further protection was given by an archival mount and by incorporating oversized conservation glass. The frame is a custom Modernist Dutch with 12 karat white gold.

Born in West Bend, WI, in 1961, Charles Dwyer discovered his artistic leanings at West Bend East High School. Later he received a scholarship from the West Bend Art Museum and then went on to major in Fine Art at the Milwaukee School of Art and Design. He graduated as Valedictorian.

Directly after college, his work was featured in a one-man exhibition. With money saved from the show, he backpacked with friends through Italy, Austria, Germany and Greece. Dwyer recalls being most impacted in Vienna where the Austrian artists and the moodiness brought on by frequent rain moved him. To this day, the overwhelming beauty of Europe remains an underlying inspiration.

After his European sojourn, Dwyer pursued painting, conservation and restoration work in the Wisconsin. “This job was pretty influential in introducing me to all sorts of imagery and media like the spiritual, astrological, and classical.” explains Dwyer. “I did a lot of mural restoration, trompe l’oeil, marbleizing, and mosaic. This was one of the few jobs you could get and really apply your artwork skills to.”

Commissioned to create the official poster for Chicago’s ARTEXPO ’93, Dwyer has continued to experiment and push the borders of art making, most recently reinterpreting the techniques of printmaking and photography. His spectacular, original works on paper and canvas, which incorporate such diverse techniques as oil paint, pastel, collage, and fabrics, make Dwyer one of the most important living American artists of our time.