Celebrated artist Kerry James Marshall (b. 1955) has a signature style born from his experiences as an African American growing up during the Civil Rights Movement. For over thirty years, Marshall has created artwork using portraiture that explores the historical artistic representation of African Americans through a wide range of techniques and styles. After earning his B.F.A. in 1978 from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, Marshall settled in Chicago, where now decades later the Museum of Contemporary Art is exhibiting a major retrospective of his work. At this year’s EXPO CHICAGO, The Conservation Center is proud to be featuring the treatment of Kerry James Marshall’s Cleanliness is Next to Godliness in our educational Booth 143.
Studio Gang is a widely recognized and respected architecture firm with offices in Chicago and New York. They are responsible for many worldly structures, including local Chicago icons, the Aqua Tower and Northerly Island. The Conservation Center is honored to have collaborated with Studio Gang on the design of our state-of-the-art conservation facility.
Chicago artist Theaster Gates acquired several volumes of historical EBONY magazines through a donation from the Johnson Publishing Corporation. The magazines were bound into several volumes that are currently housed and displayed at the Stony Island Arts Bank, an iconic building located in Chicago’s South Side that Gates purchased for the Rebuild Foundation . The Rebuild Foundation is a not-for-profit that focuses on redevelopment and neighborhood revitalization to engage artistic practice within the community.
Objectivity is necessary for conservation; it is a scientific, technical, and calculated field. However, the necessity for objectivity is two-fold as sometimes a conservator must take refuge in objectivity to circumvent becoming immersed in the subject of a work. This was very much the case during the nearly year-long treatment for Mauricio Lasansky's, The Nazi Drawings.
After seeing his work for the first time in the 1960’s, Ronald, a client of The Center, has had a deep appreciation for the art of Leon Golub. When a fellow artist personally introduced Ronald and his parents to Golub, they were immediately taken with his work. “When we met him we were so impressed with his technique and his subjects, that we immediately bought three examples of his work.” One of the three paintings, titled Burnt Man, arrived at The Center over fifty years later to undergo treatment for an unstable paint layer.
Earlier this year, two small travel paintings by Grant Wood went up for sale at an auction in Florida. Although they are not the regional subject matter people have come to expect from Wood’s work, these lovely paintings showcase his style while traveling abroad during the 1920’s. Greg, a longtime client of The Center and a collector of American Regionalism art for many years, couldn’t pass on the opportunity to buy these two Wood paintings. “I bought them sight unseen and had them shipped directly to The Conservation Center, as I knew you would do a wonderful job making sure all was well and in order with them.”
In the wake of disastrous floods that swept through Louisiana, our expertly trained team of art handlers and conservators have once again come to the rescue of an influx of more than 1,600 artworks in desperate need of restoration. As a disaster response resource for art and heirlooms, The Center has responded to countless emergency situations in the past 33 years that require decisive action and expert judgment. The Center has perfected emergency response tactics for a variety of unique situations.
The conservators at The Conservation Center had the rare privilege to conserve a mural in one of Chicago's historic buildings. The University Club of Chicago is a private social club that was founded in 1887 “by university graduates who wanted a special place where they could enjoy intellectual pursuits.” The Club’s current building was constructed in 1907-09 by renowned architectural firm Holabird and Roche, and with its distinct Neo-Gothic facade, it still stands out today amongst the buildings along Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. For the interior spaces, the Club hired fellow member and Chicago artist Frederic Clay Bartlett (1873-1953) to design the interior decor of the club, which included such original artwork as Bartlett’s 56-panel mural on the ceiling of the Club’s Michigan Room.
Traditional and simple, yet beautifully constructed, the style of this Shaker bonnet may lead you to think that it is at least a hundred years old, if not more. Though reminiscent of styles popular in the mid 1800s, according to the owner, “This bonnet belonged to one of the last surviving Shaker sisters at the Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury, New Hampshire. It was sold after she passed away, many years ago.” The last Shakers at Canterbury Village might not have passed away as long ago as you think. Eldress Bertha Lindsay and Sister Ethel Hudson, the last two Shaker sisters at Canterbury Village, passed away in the early 1990s; only about 25 years ago.
Here at The Center, we are used to seeing all sorts of artwork and family heirlooms come from worldwide locations, but we’ve never had an item come to us from out of this world! This particular story started off a little something like this…
The countdown began; ten, nine, eight, seven. The family watched as the space shuttle was about to lift from the launch pad; three, two, one, Blast Off!