Plat Map of A.G. Spalding Land Association

This plat map was mounted on a period muslin fabric. Dirt contaminates are across the surface and cloth frays, crease marks, and border deterioration have affected its stability. Acid stains have caused discoloration, and some instances of the coloring, writing, and stamp-marks have deteriorated.

Testing has begun on all colors and the lead writing. These tests show that some color is friable. The map will be removed from the muslin, as it’ll be easier to deep clean both when they are separate. Acid baths will neutralize and lift the staining. Paper repairs to the areas where the structural integrity is challenged will be made by incorporating new paper of a similar quality. Where necessary in-painting will return the colors to their original state, and the frays along the border will be kept how they are. Once the map and the muslin are ready, they will be re-lined together.

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.

Albert Spalding’s 1871 Boston Red Stockings baseball card

Tree at Water’s Edge

This painting suffered from several tears and flood damage that held left the paint film dry, brittle, and vulnerable to further damage. Dirt particulates had also spread across the surface. For the frame, the flood damage had detached some of the decorative ornamentation.

The tears were sutured from the reverse and then in-filled and in-painted on the front to conceal them. Also on the reverse, new conservation linen was adhered to increase the foundational strength. Hydration was spot-treated to return pliability and health to the paint film. Careful cleaning lifted the dirt particulates and had a pleasing affect on the color tones, and conversation varnish was used at the end.

For the frame, the loose ornamentation was reattached with a restorer’s adhesive, and careful cleaning removed the dirt particulates.

Portrait of Chambers Baird

This painting of Major Chambers Baird is a wonderful family heirloom and has great historical significance for the Ripley, Ohio region due to the subject matter. But more on that later.

As you can see from the photographs, the frame ornamentation has been lost in several places and is compromised in several others. The frame actually suffered structural damage that caused a puncture through the canvas. As for the painting, the canvas and paint film are in rough condition. Heavy dirt particulates cover the front and other than the tear caused by the frame, there are further areas of loss. The exact date of the artwork has not yet been determined. At the earliest it could be Civil War era, but there is also the possibility that it was done more recently and based on a photograph. Stay tuned for more…

MAJOR CHAMBERS BAIRD. Of the men have passed from this life, whose record for good citizenship entitles them to honorable mention in these volumes, is numbered Major Chambers Baird, of Ripley, Ohio. He was a man of affairs and one who wielded a wide influence, his opinions doing much to mold public thought and action. In all his public work Major Baird was actuated by a spirit of direct and immediate serviceableness and his labors in behalf of his town and county were far-reaching and beneficial. The birth of Chambers Baird occurred at Sandy Springs, Adams county, Ohio, July 25, 1811, and his death at Ripley, Brown county, Ohio, Mar. 20, 1887. He was a son of Judge Moses Baird, an Ohio pioneer of Scotch-Irish Presbyterian stock who came from Washington county, Pennsylvania, and settled at Sandy Springs in 1790. Chambers Baird was reared on the home farm on the Ohio river, opposite Vanceburg, Ky., his home until he reached the age of nineteen years, when, in 1830, he became a student in the Ripley College, with his cousin, Stephen R. Riggs, afterward a noted minister and missionary among the Dakota Indians, as classmate. This college closing in 1832, they entered Jefferson College, in Pennsylvania, and graduated from that institution of learning in the year of 1834. After his graduation, Mr. Baird read law at Ripley with the Hon. Archibald Leggett and Col. Francis Taylor, formerly of Kentucky, and was admitted to the bar in November, 1836. He became widely known as a general practitioner, as a keen business man, and prominent citizen. In 1837 Major Baird was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Campbell, of Ripley, who passed from this life in 1844. On May 6, 1845, Maj. Chambers Baird was united in marriage to Miss Judith Anne Leggett, only daughter of Mr. A. Leggett, who had married two daughters of Col. Taylor. Mr. Baird still resides (1913) at Ripley and is the other of five children who were born to her union with Major Baird. Of the five children, three died in infancy, and those living are: Florence C., now Mrs. J. J. McCardy of Los Angeles, Cal., and Chambers Baird, a prominent lawyer of Ripley. It is almost impossible for a man of Major Baird’s character and ability to avoid prominence in politics and he took an active part in political life, first as a Whig, and later as a strong Republican and anti-slavery man. In 1855 he was elected State Senator from Brown and Clermont counties; in 1856 he was a delegate to the first National Republican convention which nominated Fremont. Later, he was delegate to many other conventions, and was a trusted leader of the Republican party in his State and county. In 1860 he took a prominent part in the election of President Lincoln and at the out break of the Civil War was among the foremost speakers for the Union. He was an intimate friend of Senator Sherman, Secretary Chase, Governor Dennison and other prominent men. His age, fifty years, prevented him from entering active military service, but he was appointed provost marshal by the Governor and was intrusted with the responsible duty of organizing a defense of the Ohio border. With his accustomed energy Major Baird at once set about organizing minute men and military companies, and later, in 1863, accepted an appointment as paymaster in the United States army, with the rank of major, being first assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, with headquarters at Louisville, Ky. He was later removed to Washington, where he was a resident with Lincoln was assassinated. He paid the Union troops returned from southern prisons, at Annapolis, and was mustered out July 1, 1866, after three years of service. During the period in which he was paymaster, Major Baird handled many millions of money without the loss of one cent. Community affairs were ever of deep interest to Major Baird and his services could always be secured to further any movement for the public good. He was a director of the First National bank of Ripley and later was president of Citizens’ National Bank. He was president of the Ripley Gas Company from its organization in 1860 until his death. For years he was an active member of the Ripley Fair Company and also of the Ripley Saw Mill and Lumber Company. He was an investor in various other local and outside enterprises. He declined a number of nominations and appointments to honorable offices, among them a judgeship in the Supreme Court of Ohio, not wishing to leave his home and profession. Major Baird possessed one of the largest libraries of law books and miscellaneous works in southern Ohio. His home was one of culture and refinement and beauty. In religious matters he was an active member, trustee and elder of the Presbyterian church, and for many years was a teacher of the Bible class and a delegate to the Presbytery and Synod. He always give liberally to all branches of church work, contributing not only financially, but taking a personal interest and rendering active, faithful service. While Maj. Chambers Baird was of the highest type of professional man and enterprising man of business, he was first of all a good citizen. His championship of the right and his settled convictions, from which he could not be swerved, made him a leader of no little power. In his professional life as a lawyer and in business he was conscientious, kind hearted and generous, careful and accurate; in public life he possessed the sterling qualities which command respect, while in the seclusion of home and in the social circle he displayed those winning traits which make human affection little less than divine.

Source: History of Clermont & Brown Counties, Ohio – Volume II – By Byron Williams – 1913 ~ Page 157

A Double Dose of Peter Max

These oversized paintings by Peter Max (1937-) came in with the same ailments, which are quite severe, and the result of poor and prolonged storage practices. As you can see from the photographs, for each painting excessive water damage occured along one edge, the edge that would have been at the bottom while in storage. The damage continued and spread mold and fungal invasions, dirt particulates across the canvas, and cracking and bulging of the paint film.

The first step is to tent the paintings with an agent to kill the mold. Following that, careful cleaning will prep the front and reverse, and then new archival linen will be adhered to the reverse. Where the canvas suffered heavy material loss along the edges, these areas will be reconstituted with in-fill and then in-painted to conceal that there was ever damage. Along these edges is also where the signature was, some of it remains, and the rest will be re-established. Heavy consolidation will return the paint film to plane, and in-painting where necessary will conceal these areas. Conservation varnish to finish. Stay tuned for more…

Born in Berlin in 1937, Peter Max and his family quickly moved to Shanghai, China where he spent the first 10 years of his life.  Young Max formed lasting impressions of Flash Gordon, Capitan Marvel, jazz, creativity, and freedom from American comic books, radio broadcasts, and movies.  Max and his parents traveled through the Tibetan mountains, India, Africa and Israel where Max first studied with a Viennese fauve painter. It was in Israel that Max developed a keen interest in astronomy, a subject that would later impact his artwork.

In 1953, Max and his family moved to the United States, settling in New York City.  After completing high school, Max studied painting at the Art Students League.  He was fascinated with commercial illustration and the graphic arts, and won awards for his album covers and book jackets in his unique style.

During the 1960s, Max worked in his psychedelic photo collage period, which later gave way to his “cosmic” 60s style with its distinctive line work and bold color combinations.  Inspired by his meditative, spiritual teachings, Max’s cosmic art captured the imagination of a generation and launched Max into fame and fortune.

During the 1970s, Max dropped his commercial work and pursued canvas painting in earnest. For the 1976 Bicentennial, Max created the art book Peter Max Paints America, and began his annual tradition of painting the Statue of Liberty.  A lover of music, Max has been designated the Official Artist for the Grammy’s, the New Orleans Jazz Festival and the Woodstock Music Festival.