G.A. Kadir Landscape of Buitenzorg, Java

This painting by G.A. Kadir (1900 – N/A) came in with a very dry and delicate canvas, and a heavy contamination across the surface. Careful cleaning removed the surface contaminates and then the tent method, using steam, will re-introduce moisture. Further application of consolidates will be administered to the linen directly. These measures will make the canvas more supple and allow it to hold the paint in a forgiving manner. A few small areas have paint loss, and they will be in-painted.

This painting was a gift in WWII to a soldier who had rescued the family’s son. It has tremendous value for our client, and we are very thankful that we can, in our own small way, lend our service to it.

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.

 

Some Recent Frames We’ve Made

Here are some frames we’ve recently had the pleasure of making. Photographs show the process in reverse, and the captions have some insights into the process, but we thought the pictures should do most of the talking.

American Impressionist 22k frame for an oil and canvas by TC Steele (1847 – 1926).

 

American Impressionist 22k frame with Greek Key motif for oil on canvas by our good friend, Nigel Van Wieck (1947-).

 

Florentine High Front with white gold for watercolor by Vincenzo Loria (1850-1939).

 

Francois Beaucourt Dame a la Chandelle

This painting suffers from dirt particulates that have accumulated on the surface and in the layers of the older varnish. The paint film is dry, which is not surprising for a painting this old (1778). Dryness has led to craquelures and cupping. The canvas appears to be brittle, thin and dry.  There are numerous instances of old restoration and a coating of  asphaltum on the reverse.

This painting is the work of Francois Beaucourt (1740-1794; also known as Francois Malepart De Beaucort) who is known as the first Canadian artist to receive European training. His father was also a painter, and was likely the first teacher of Francois, though records at the time are hard to come by. What is known is that the father, Mallepart De Grand Maison, was a soldier who was believed to have gone to New France with the colonial regular troops. At this time, New France extended from Northwest Canada down to New Orleans, spanning into the present day Midwest, and skipping the Atlantic seaboard, which was controlled by England. Mallepart married in 1737, the wedding certificate described him as a “sergeant in the troops of the company of M. de Beaujeu [Louis Liénard].” It’s believed that by 1740 he had given up the military career to become a painter: the Montreal baptismal papers for his four children describe him as a painter. The first born was Francois, and subsequently the only living child of the marriage. Mallepart died 17 years after Francois was born, and his wife remarried to Corporal Lasselin, who may or may not have relocated the family to France. However, it was in Bordeaux, in 1773, where Francois married Benoîte, the daughter of Joseph-Gaëtan Camagne, a theatre artist and decorator.

Eleven years later, Francois departed for America; unfortunately, all the artwork he created in Bordeaux has been deemed lost. The next known trace of the artist was in 1792 when he surfaced in Philadelphia and published an advertisement in the General Advertiser. The same advertisement would appear in the Montreal Gazette, but in this case he changed the description of himself from a French painter to a Canadian one. Francois would go on to create a substantial amount of religious paintings and portraits, and it’s the latter where his talent seems to have found its strongest definition: his warm colors imbuing the subjects with a life-like quality.

He died in Montreal in 1794.

Self-portrait of Francois Beaucourt.

Auguste Musin Golden Rays on Coast at Days End

The oil painting by Auguste Musin (1852-1920), Golden Rays on Coast at Days End, came in with a very poor shape and a dry linen. These two issues combined to create craquelures and cupping. The varnish had yellowed, and there were serval contaminates on the surface, most noticeably those from smoke. On the reverse, there were two small strips of tape that covered three holes: the largest about an inch in size, the smaller two about a quarter of an inch. There was also some poor in-painting that had been executed at some point to try and hide the craquelures. On some of the sails, there was actual paint loss.

Once the painting was de-fit, careful micro-vacuuming was carried out on the front and the reverse. New Belgian linen was archivally adhered to the reverse, which strengthened the foundation. A heat press was used to lay down the paint film, addressing some of the cupping and craquelures, with further hydration administered with spot treatments to return pliancy to the paint film and help consolidate.

The old in-painting turned out to be more extensive than originally thought. All of it was removed. New linen threads were fixed to the reverse to fix the three holes. With the cupping and craquelures consolidated, areas of loss appeared, which is typical. We in-filled and then in-painted to conceal these areas. With the old varnish removed, new conservation varnish was applied.

The original frame had been glazed to hide imperfections. This glaze was removed, and the frame cleaned and conditioned. Broken ornamentation of the frame was repaired, and a back-up given for strength and depth. The stretcher bar was given a lift to help the canvas sit in the frame without undo stress.

Auguste Henri Musin was born on April 4, 1852 in Oostende, Belgium. He was a marine artist, and is known today as one of the top European marine artist of the 19th and early 20th century. His father, Francois Etienne Musin, also a highly noted marine artist, was a teacher for Auguste, but there are more modern approaches that can be seen in the work of the younger Musin.

In 1872, Musin started to participate quite successfully in important European and American venues. In 1889, at The Paris Salon, he was awarded an honorable mention, and a gold medal in Rouen, France as well as medals in London, Lille, Lorient, Periquex, Limoges, Marseille, Dunkerque, Reims and many more. He settled in Brussels and, like his father, became considered one of Belgium’s top marine artists. When he married, in 1872, he settled in England, near London. During the 1880s he worked for the magazines: The Graphic, The London Times, and the L’Univers Illustre.

His marines were painted in Oostende, Belgium and in Holland, Scheveningen, Noordwijk, Terneuzen, Rottendam and Dordrecht. He also painted in Brittany, France and Alicante, Spain. A large number of paintings were sold to the American market through dealers that exported his paintings.

Musin died in St. Joost-ten-Noode on December 10, 1920.

Today, his paintings can be found in private and public collections, worldwide, including in Belgium museums in Bruges, Brussels, Oostende, and Liege. They can also be found in museums in Madrid, Spain, and Reims, France.

 

Dredge on Barge Painting by Unknown Artist

This oil painting came in with a heavy amount of surface contaminates, a mold invasion, and craquelures. Craquelures are the fissure-looking lines that appear due to the layers of the painting, including the canvas, drying at different times, and then rubbing against each other.

After the painting was de-fit, we noticed how brittle the canvas was, and how the stretcher bar had claimed a section of its perimeter. New Belgian linen was archivally adhered to the reverse using a heat press. This greatly increased the foundational strength, which is one of the major causes for the craquelures; the heat press had the added benefit of helping to lay the craquelures flat.

Cleaning progressed until the whole paint surface had been completed. This turned out to be one of those cases that, when you think you’re done cleaning, you find out that there are even more layers. We switched to a secondary cleaning method that, chemically, has certain advantages, and the results were rather impressive in that it seemed like we removed as much dirt on the second cleaning as the first. There even emerged another person, as the derrick operator was rather hard to see before any of the cleaning.

In-filling was used on the areas of loss, which are common when consolidating craquelures. In-painting matched colors to the original. It was decided by the client to not salvage the signature, which had been largely compromised as it was on the extreme bottom-right corner, where it had tucked around the stretcher bar and sat and rubbed against the frame. This painting has lovely qualities, though, and now that it’s clean the intricacies of the brushstrokes and the dynamic play of the colors have brought the painting back to a state that it would now be about ready for the painter to sign it. A frame is forthcoming, but it’s important not to commit to a frame style and color until the painting has been cleaned and the true colors revealed. Stay tuned for more…

Before and After.

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.

Manfred Henninger German Town Landscape

This landscape by Manfred Henninger (1894 – 1986) had previously been re-lined with wax, which is a technique that is seldom needed these days, and this instance of it had failed. On the front there were some cracks in the paint film, which were due to excessive drying.

It was a slow, and noisy, process to remove the old wax reline; but, careful scalpel work eventually got rid of it. New Belgian linen was added with a restorer’s adhesive. This fortified the foundation, which is going to greatly help the underlying issue as to why the cracks in the paint film appeared in the first place. Consolidation brought the cracked areas back to plane. Small, hairline losses were then in-filled and in-painted. There were a number of losses around the perimeter, which were the result of tacks that had been placed, we believe, to help hold the canvas for the wax re-line. This effectively shrunk the size of the painting, but with our new linen, providing a wider hold for the stretcher bar, we were able to undo this.

Born in Backnang, Germany, Henninger studied at the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts where Christian Landenberger, a notable landscape artist, was then a professor. With the outbreak of WWI, Henninger volunteered, but he never would never have the taste for war, and thereafter he considered himself a pacifist. In 1929 he co-founded the Stuttgart New Session, which abolished the jury system that had traditionally decided which works would be shown at exhibitions. For political reasons, Henninger emigrated to Switzerland, and then to Ibiza, an island in the Mediterranean which is said to have inspired a flurry of work, some 300 paintings. But war broke out in nearby Spain, and Henninger moved to Ticino, an italian-speaking region of southern Switzerland. Henninger went on to write essays for “Leaves for Art” in which he critiqued French Impressionism. In 1949 he was appointed to the State Academy of of Fine Arts in Stuttgart, where he led the classes for landscapes and portraits, teaching until 1961. His notable students included: Peter Kalkhof, Günther C. Kirchberger, Roland Ladwig and Friedrich Sieber. By the end of his life, Henninger had received many honors: in 1962, he became an honorary member of the Stuttgarter Kunstakademie; in 1975, he received the merit medal of the state of Baden-Württemberg; in 1979, he was given the Bürgermedaille of the city of Stuttgart and the Great Federal Service Cross; and in 1985, he was awarded the Hans Thoma Prize. He died, in Stuttgart, in 1986.

William Aiken Walker Copper Plates

Beneath the years of dirt, and achieved with the fine brushstrokes of Walker (1839-1921), there was a remarkable amount of detail on these oil copper plates. Copper has always been a great preserver of oil paint, and we’re glad to say that was proven once again in this case. Cleaning was achieved through a gel system, due to the corrosive tendencies that normal cleaning solvents would have on copper. Custom frames will be prepared in the Louis XVI style embellished with basketweave demi-centers and sgraffito displayed in each corner as cotton flowers with leafs. The frames will be gilded and shadow box created to allow ample room for the copper plates to fit safely inside.

William Aiken Walker (1839-1921) was an American artist who was born to an Irish Protestant father and a mother of South Carolina background in Charleston, South Carolina in 1839.  In 1842, when his father died, Walker’s mother moved the family to Baltimore, Maryland, where they remained until returning to Charleston in 1848.

In 1861, during the American Civil War, Walker enlisted in the Confederate army and served under General Wade Hampton in the Hampton’s Legion.  He was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines (1862).  After recuperating, he was transferred back to Charleston, where he was assigned picket duty, which gave him time to paint.  For the next two years, he made maps and drawings of Charleston’s defenses.  He was separated from the military at the end of 1864.  After the Civil War, Walker moved to Baltimore, where he produced small paintings of the “Old South” to sell as tourist souvenirs.

He is best known for his paintings depicting the lives of poor black emancipated slaves, especially sharecroppers in the post-Reconstruction American South.  Two of his paintings were reproduced by Currier and Ives as chromolithographs.

Walker continued painting until his death on January 3, 1921 in Charleston, where he is buried in the family plot at Magnolia Cemetery.

WA Knip Painting

Finally got to do some work outside…

The paper face method was used to lay down the cracking of the dry paint film while allowing the restorer adhesive, applied from the reverse, to seep all the way to the front. This creates a very tight and thorough bond of protection. Our wonderful, and recently fixed, heat press helped with warm temps at a strong atmospheric pressure to further consolidate the paint film.

Willem Alexander Knip was born in Amsterdam 1883. He studied at the artscool in Amsterdam and had painting lessons in Haarlem from J.J.C. Lebeau. He lived in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas, but also regularly worked in France, Italy, and Spain. He was known for his landscapes, harbor- and town-views. He won the St. Lucasperize in 1942 and the Artist-medaille in 1953. His works are the possession of the Rijkscollectie, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and the Singer Museum in Laren. He died in Blaricum in 1967.