Gozzard A Misty Night

A Misty Night had been placed on a mount with a thick amount of adhesive paste. Over time, the glue had discolored and cracked. The first step was to remove the gouache from the acidic mount. Through a lengthy soak with targeted chemistry, we were able to soften the adhesive enough so that we could very carefully remove it with our fingers and a sponge. To neutralize the acids we used another chemical bath to deacidify the gouache. Blotters were then used to flatten and dry the artwork. This also drew-out the discoloration that we were able to correct with in-painting, matching the colors to original, and thus complete the restoration.

James Gozzard (1888 – 1950) was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and is known as a painter and illustrator in both oil and watercolor, principally of landscapes of the English countryside. He usually signed his work “J W Gozzard,” his middle name being Walter.

He became a prolific illustrator and his work was reproduced in a variety of formats, including postcards and art prints by Rosenstiels. Many of his paintings were published as prints, both in black-and-white and in color, particularly in the years up until the First World War.

Gozzard also painted under the pseudonym “F Arnold,” and the career he established as a published artist brought him some considerable success, partly as a result of his very precise and careful style, which made his work suitable for publishing in the days before advanced machinery and technology made almost any kind of reproduction possible.

Gozzards name today survives principally on the strength of his rural landscapes and moonlit scenes. He died in 1950.

Eduard Manet Etching Man With Jug

 

This wonderful etching from Eduard Manet (1832 – 1883) Man with Jug (Le Buveur d’Eau ou la Regalade) has a few issues going on with it. As is often the case with older works, harmful masking tape was used to adhere it. In this case the damage is more than usual. Around the mat window masking tape was also used, in addition to the usual portions along the outer edges. There is a considerable amount of acid damage in varying stages, which was accelerated by sun damage. Due to the mats used–there were three–different portions of the etching were subject to different amounts of light. Direct sunlight acted as a catalyst for the acid compounds to burn the paper. The good news is that we think the paper is an early Rives paper, which is a French paper and of very good quality, but is laid and linen. The quality should help the condition of the paper rebound once we treat for acid damage.

To fit the etching into the original frame the bottom of the paper was folded. This left a crease and a severe amount of burning. Though the damage could be beyond our control, we will make every effort to save this area. Stay tuned for more . . .

A French painter, Edouard Manet was one of the first nineteenth century artists to approach modern-life subjects, and is considered to have been a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

In 1850 after serving in the merchant marines, Manet entered the studio of Thomas Couture, studying until 1856. The Old Masters influenced him, particularly Velazquez and Goya.

Throughout his oeuvre Manet painted modern day life, yet many of his paintings have deeper elements than their initial impressions of simple and realistic. His work seems to mimic the contradictions and lack of perspective of himself and Paris during his working career. Always controversial, Manet sought to record the days of his life using his own unique vision. From beggars, to prostitutes, to the bourgeoisie he sought to be true to himself and to reproduce “not great art, but sincere art.”

Edouard Manet died in Paris on April 30, 1883.

Fleur-de-lis watermark shown on reverse.

 

Glackens FOUR BOYS WALKING A DOG

This ink drawing by William James Glackens (1870 – 1938), Four Boys Walking A Dog, suffers from stains, acid components, and a nasty crease along that middle that was deep enough to start to tear in a couple places. A few of the stains were caused by mineral deposits in the paper itself, which can happen with older paper.

Chemical baths treated the stains and the acid components. From a previous restoration a couple strips of stock restorer’s adhesive were used to suture the crease. These will be replaced with a more refined material.  Stay tuned for more . . .

William James Glackens (1870 – 1938) 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.

George Catlin Catching The Wild Horse Cleaning

The initial condition of this George Catlin (1796-1872) print suffered from stains, discoloration, and severe foxing. Foxing is a condition where a brown discoloration appears. The origins for this are somewhat unknown. It’s believed to either be a fungus growth, or an oxidation agent from the components in the paper, or both. The good news is that foxing does not compromise the integrity of the paper. We’ve circled just some of the foxing. The larger circle shows a slight magnification which helps bring out the rich colors and detail of the Native America–some of the strong qualities of this print.

 

The above photographs show the print going through a solution bath. This reduced the foxing and brought out the blue in the clouds, and the white-capped mountains in the distance. We’re getting closer to how the artist envisioned it.

 

Once the print was out of the solution bath, further cleaning was carried out to achieve these pristine results. Crisp whites, most dramatically in the eye of the central horse but also along the paper’s border, heightened detail in the complex grass areas, and an increase feel of the texture in the background. Also noteworthy is a spot at the bottom left of the last picture. There’s a little pinhole where the printer used to place the print.

Restoration will conclude with a custom frame. Stay tuned for more . . .

Jack Gates Pastel Landscape Rustic Vista

This pastel by Jack Gates (1903 – 1997) suffers from flaked pastel and harmful acids. With a brush we were able to clear away some of the loose areas where the upper layers of pastel had flaked, particularly the white portion of the sky, which is the top of three layers and seems to be of a lesser quality as we’ve noticed it’s more prone to delaminating. We also used a scalpel to secure the areas where flaking had started. From the reverse, the work was de-acidified as harmful acids were in the board and were in the process of making their way into the pastels. Stay tuned for more. . .

An impressionist painter of landscapes, figures, still lifes, interiors, and marine scenes, Jack Gates (1903 – 1997) was known for his traditionalist style at a time when modernist, abstract work was in vogue. There is a very apparent influence of the French Tonalist painter Camille Corot.

He was born in the Ukraine and began painting as a youngster in Russia. He studied at the National Academy of Design before emigrating to New York City and attending the Art Students League as a student of Sidney Dickenson, Ivan Olinksy, and Robert Phillip.

He was a member of the the Salamagundi Club, the Allied Artists of America, the Knickerbocker Society, and the Hudson Valley Art Association. Commercially he was represented by Hammer Galleries and The Grand Central Art Gallery. U.S. Navy personnel commissioned him to paint portraits of high-ranking personnel, as did well known personalities: Bess Meyerson, Walter Matthau, and Tony Bennett.

David Shirey, a New York Times art critic, described Gates’ style as personable and inviting, and that these qualities allowed his paintings to “encourage [the viewer] to contemplate them, to walk through them without feeling cramped and to breathe freely among their trees, skies, ponds and fields.” Part of this effect Shirey attributed to the types of brushstroke Gates could employ: “a gestural Expressionist brush that cossets the surfaces of paintings but [he] can also assail them -dashing, sweeping and gliding. He governs the speed of his strokes to accommodate the mood of his pictures.”

Double-sided Louis XVI Frame

In order to present the double-sided letter of French architect and sculptor Gilles-Paul Cauvet (1731 – 1788) we built a custom double-sided frame in the Louis XVI Neoclassical style with a 3/4″ width and a double mat. The frame was gilded and the pedestal was stained with light mahogany.

Cauvet was a prominent sculptor, architect, and designer at the French court. Sculptor for Louis XVI’s brother, the comte de Provence, later Louis XVIII, he also directed the Académie de Saint-Luc, the guild of decorative painters and sculptors. He designed carved boiserie (wood paneling) and furniture for houses in Paris. Many wood carvers were influenced by his book of engraved designs for interiors and furniture, which was published in 1777. We were happy to use our own ingenuity in woodcrafting to help present this bifold treasure.

WWI Posters

A collection of American WWI posters came in with relatively good condition, considering the brief task they were meant for. The most important step will be to deacidify the works in order to neutralize the wood pulp, which is the cause for the existing stains. Separate treatments will then address these stains, and by matching similar types of paper, we’ll be able to repair the holes and tears. These posters owe the preservation of their rich colors in large part to the fact that they were stored away from sunlight. Restoration will maintain their original integrity while also allowing them to be shown. A key difference as these posters capture an important time in American history.

To help finance the war, the United States government issued bonds, also called Liberty Bonds, in 1917 and 1918, raising a total of $21.5 billion for the war effort. While banks and financial institutions bought many of the bonds, a massive public relations campaign was mounted to urge individuals to make purchases as well. The below posters were created by the artists: Edmund Ashe, John Sheridan, Albert Herter, Clarence Underwood, and Gil Spear.

Kinley Shogren Nellie

This watercolor depicts Mystic, Connecticut with artist Kinley Shogren’s (1924 – 1991) signature use of realism. It was executed in 1984 and was unfortunately incorrectly fitted in its mat. Over time this caused the artwork to bow. Restoration will carefully flatten the work, reestablishing the composition to the artist’s original intent and making it more suitable to place in its new custom Florentine frame with silver to marry the watercolor’s softer tones. Finally, UV-filtering glass will protect the work for years to come.

Kinley Shogren was a Cleveland artist of the mid-20th Century who was known for watercolor scenes around rural Ohio, and was an authority on Great Lakes shipping and ships. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1949 his output is estimated to total over 3,500 paintings, including hundreds of boat commissions as well as marine birds, canal locks, and landscapes. His realistic illustrative quality as a painter won him great popularity throughout his career, and the Plain Dealer said he was one of the most popular artists with corporate buyers in the Cleveland area.

Nora McGuinness Mending the Nets

This gouache by Nora McGuinness (1901-1980) suffered from some adhesive and a mount that were non-archival. A soak in an aqueous chemistry bath allowed us to remove the paper from the mount which then allowed us to remove the adhesive. Previously, the work had been behind glass that did not protect against UV rays. This resulted in a moderate degree of sun damage that would have worsened into color shock had the exposure been longer. We were able to de-acidify the work, place it onto a museum mount, and touch up some of the colors with in-painting. Glass that filters UV light will be used to help maintain the dynamic colors, which McGuinness shows great skill with, and was aided by her choice of medium: gouache, a diluted type of paint, similar to watercolors, but with greater texture.

The Irish landscape artist, graphic designer and illustrator Nora McGuinness (1901 – 1980) was born in County Derry, Northern Ireland. She studied drawing and fine art painting at the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin, the Chelsea Polytechnic, London, and on the advice of Mainie Jellett and Evie Hone, under the French artist André l’Hote, in Paris. She is known for vivid, highly colored, flattened landscapes executed in a spontaneous style which reveal the strong influence that l’Hote had on her. This connection led to her association with the modern movement in Ireland. A founding member of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, and its president in 1944, she first showed at the RHA in 1924, and would later exhibit at the Victor Waddington Galleries (Dublin), the The Dawson Gallery (Dublin), and the Wertheim Gallery (London). Together with Nano Reid, she represented Ireland in the 1950 Venice Biennale.

Her work appears in all the major Irish public collections – including: Hugh Lane Art Gallery, Dublin; Arts Council of Ireland; Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Ulster Museum, Belfast; Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin; National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; University College Dublin; Waterford Art Gallery Collection; The Victoria and Albert Museum London; Meath County Council – as well as in several important overseas collections such as the Joseph H. Hirschorn collection in New York.

Sir George Solti conducts the Chicago Symphony in Vienna

This serigraph by Franklin McMahon (1921 – 2012) is entitled “Sir George Solti conducts the Chicago Symphony in Vienna.” Harsh mold damage had obscured many of the faces in the crowd which restoration brought back to clarity. The finished work is housed in a custom Italian frame. A couple of the finer points we enjoy about this print is 1) how its art about art, which is kind of like a bilingual ability, and 2) how it represents a gathering of people enjoying and sharing the gifts of art, which is kind of like the adoration of an unspoken language, and something we find worth preserving.