Our Team

kari_portrait

Kari Miller Fenwood established her interest in art and restoration in childhood, working with Arthur Tanis, an architectural restorer and chemist in Michigan. From him, Kari learned to meticulously research how a building was made, including the tools and techniques originally employed. Kari learned to make period elements; during a twelve-year apprenticeship, they worked on several Dutch windmills and a variety of period furniture pieces. (CV follows.)

 

To aid individuals and institutions in the restoration and conservation of fine art. To make fine art and to teach fine art and conservation.  The making of historical and original museum frames and their restoration. To keep alive renaissance gilding and fresco techniques.  Extensive restoration experience with:Paintings – oil and acrylic on linen, panels and frescoes.Works on paper – drawings, pastels, prints and watercolor

Books – complete restoration and conservation including re-binding

Wooden objects – gilded objects, furniture, sculpture, and tools

Textiles – cotton, linen, silk and wool.  Native American and Folk objects.

Sculpture – marble, wood, metal and ceramics.

I began working in restoration with Arthur Tanis who was an architectural restorer and chemist in Michigan.  The work I learned with Mr. Tanis was to meticulously research how a building was made, the tools and techniques employed.  I learned how to make period elements, the historical context of the creation of the building and how to examine the chemical content of the components.  We worked on several Dutch windmills and pieces of historic furniture during my twelve years of apprenticeship. I was forever shaped by this work and the world of restoration and historic research.

After college where I received my BFA, I moved to New York City and had several internship opportunities.  I worked with artisans in the framing and furniture community as well as exploring work with several institutions in New York and Washington DC.  My first internship with the Institute for Art and Urban Resources afforded me a closer look into the art world and how our Federal government supports our cultural heritage.  I then had an internship with The Smithsonian Institute, mainly in the conservation of works in wood and metal.

As a young woman I worked mainly in furniture and frame restoration in New York where I learned techniques in gesso, gold and lacquer.  I have made and restored frames shown in many American Museums.  I designed frames for several periods of artwork particularly utilizing Dutch and Renaissance influence.  I found working with living artists regarding the conservation and materials used was a wonderful way to support living artwork.

My painting and paper conservation experience and skills were honed under the influence of Joel Zackow, Alverez Restoration and Fodera Fine Arts.  I shared many projects with these three restoration companies from 1982 through 1995.  I left the New York area in 1995 to move back to Michigan with my three young sons.  This was a pivotal change in my life.  I was able to raise my sons and hone my skills in a quieter life surrounded by family.

I have a great love of all materials and a large repertoire of restoration bench skills and experience.  I have been able to be involved with smaller colleges and museums in the Michigan area where restorer’s skills are greatly needed.

Experience

1993–2011         Kari Miller Restoration                        New York City and Hamilton, MIOwner and conservatorFull service restoration of works on canvas, paper, fresco, wood, ceramics, and gilded surfaces

Conservator to Holland Museum – worked on over 1000 objects that were affected by a major flood in the collection storage including painting, sculpture, works on paper and several major pieces of furniture.

Consultant to Grand Valley State University – worked on the restoration of several Mathias Alten paintings and historical frames.  Assisted staff to present a permanent installation with a restoration in progress to highlight the process of restoration of both works on canvas and a wooden object with cast and gilded elements

Conservator and Lecturer at Hope College, Holland, Michigan – lectured on conservation issues, the gilded object and history. Restored and designed vitrine for Hiram Powers’ marble sculpture of Mathilde from 1846.  Conserved and restored entire presidential portrait collection for permanent installation in Graves Hall (finished in 2010)

Conservator for the teaching collection of Vassar College – worked on their entire collection including paintings and frame restoration (1993 – 1995)

Artist for Hope Church, installations in sanctuary and conservation of wooden carved sculpture of The Last Supper (1999)

Manufacturer and restorer of historic museum frames

Studied frescos in Rome to develop technique for artist Rosemary Ellis – traveled and studied technique and developed formulas for fresco style painting for Ms. Ellis.  Conservator on several projects that were installed from 2004 – 2008

1985–1993         APF Inc.                                                New York CityVice President and ConservatorConservator for Art in Embassy Program, Washington D.C. – restored over thirty Reginald Marsh paintings and watercolors and was responsible for all major historical frame conservation and selection for the collection of art works owned by the Embassy Program. (1990 to 1993)

Head of historical division.

Conservator of the Biltmore Estate  – worked with the Biltmore Estate on the conservation of historical frames and other objects (1995 -1996)

Morgan Library – conservation and restoration on an exhibition of early manuscripts and books mainly gilded works on parchment (1996)

Metropolitan Museum – worked on several Sienese frames and Dutch period frames – sgraffitto deterioration issues in several Renaissance frames from Sienna and Dutch lacquer frames from 1756 to 1799

1980–1984         Josef Fine Arts                                       New York CityPartnerResponsible for all museum work and the training of all staff.

Developed Dutch Lacquer formulas for restoration and production of frames and furniture.

Restorer of works on canvas, paper and wood.

Designer and conservator for Julian Schnabel – worked with Mr. Schnabel on conservation issues in the production of his plate collage paintings, large drawings transferred to linen and the framing styles and production for his work.

Janet Marquesee Fine Art – restoration and conservation of sixty paintings by Simkovitch with Joel Zackow Fine Arts.  Simkovitch was an American Impressionist trained in Russia residing and painting in Connecticut form 1890 to 1930. (1982 – 1984)

Developed a historical line of frames for museums and collectors

Conservator to Alison Knowles (1979 – present) worked with Fluxus artist on all objects focusing on adhesives and the construction of works in fabric, wood, paper and canvas.

 

1974–1978         Aquinas College                                 Grand Rapids, MIB.F.A.  Fine Arts and History of ArtGraduated summa cum laude – triple major in sculpture, print making, painting and cultural geography

Internship Fellowship – Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. – worked on the restoration of works in metal and wood.  (Summer 1978)

Yale University  – Fellowship – studied with Andrew Forge (1978 -1979)

Intern with The Institute for Art and Urban Resourses (Summer 1977)

 

Memberships

Art Students League of New YorkAmerican Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic WorksArt and Antiques Advisor Group

Disaster Restoration Professionals

Period Art and Antiques

Institutions and Collections

Art Institute of Chicago

Smithsonian Institute of Art

Metropolitan Institute of Art

Biltmore Estate

National Portrait Gallery

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Saint Louis Art Museum

Wadsworth Athenaeum

Vassar Art Museum

Whitney Museum of American Art

Morgan Library

Janet Marquesee Fine Art

Salender O’Rielly Fine Art

Julian Schnabel

Nigel Van Wieck

Holland Museum of Art

 

peter_portrait

Peter Fenwood has worked for more 30 years in the world of fine art.  Peter worked for many years for high quality custom frame makers and conservators in New York City before embarking on his own endeavors in custom frames, art installation and fine art services. With Kari, Peter creates historically accurate frames that are artwork specific.

 

 

 

 

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Marc Wyss Miller has spent nearly 30 years working in Germany where he raised his family and served the military community. He’s a jack of all trades, and a master organizer. Multiple skills in painting and finish work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walker Wesley Glass has been working with his parents, Kari and Peter, since a child. Growing up around the art business inspired him to take up the family tradition. He has particularly honed his skills and made them his own in gesso and gilded craft. He is very experienced in French polish and other furniture finishing knowledge. He loves doing complex Veneer’s and solving restoration challenges.

 

 

 

bart_portraitBart Robert Bultman is pursuing a writing career. In 2015 he joined the team, bringing his writing talents to help take care of researching, appraising, as well as compose reports, web pages, and social media content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to Kallie Walker Photography // kalliewalker.com