These images speak for themselves! Check out some recent items to come through the doors of The Conservation Center, how they looked by the time they left, and the stories behind the artwork.
The Conservation Center is proud to announce we will once again be serving as the fine art conservators for EXPO CHICAGO 2013. Please mark your calendars for September 19th-22nd 2013 for The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art in Chicago located at Navy Pier.
A delicate glass vase by French artist Emile Galle (1846-1904), owned by the Glessner House Museum was brought to The Center after it was accidentally damaged and shattered. The vase broke into discrete fragments with extensive associated losses along the break edges, including an area of significant loss around the rim. There were also two running cracks as a result of a fracture.
Whether a corporation’s art collection is a curated investment, a donation from an art-loving CEO, an act of community connection, or a trove of archival material, keeping it in good condition requires the knowledge of experts. The Conservation Center has a long history of caring for corporate art holdings in four categories: disaster response, re-housing, storage, and display.
The Animalistic Vase was brought to The Center because it was broken into over twenty pieces and minute fragments. It had previously been extensively repaired with adhesive, and the joints restored with painted plaster. Before treatment began, it was difficult to determine just how many losses there were, but it appeared that all main fragments were present and the losses were minimal. On the surface, there was archeological evidence, as well as evidence of use and wear with related scratches and abrasions.
The peoples living in what we today know as The People’s Republic of China have been making art for centuries. Our personal archives can hardly hope to present a complete picture of Chinese art history, but we have been graced with some excellent examples of artistic eras and traditions, spanning in some cases thousands of years.
As Jewish heritage spans many countries, cultures, and customs, the ceremonial and ritual objects pictured here are only a few of many permutations and preferences. Nevertheless, they share the same background and prominence in their congregations and households. The conservation of these pieces often had the added task of ensuring that these objects could still be used or ritually displayed, which will also be discussed.
This Tibetan headdress arrived at The Center with a severe active moth infestation that had caused major surface and structural damage. The conservation of this object has been an arduous, ongoing process since it was brought to The Center. Moths consume keratin, a protein found in animal furs and wool, and subsequently can destroy anything made from animal products.
The Napoleonic Dragoon Helmet, an example of the Grecian-inspired helmets worn by specific members of Napoleon’s cavalry, was brought to The Center in need of restoration. The leather lining of the helmet was loose with several losses to the leather and the risk of further degradation. The proper right leather strap was loose as well, with both straps having been previously re-attached with blue putty. Furthermore, the skull of the helmet exhibited several shallow dents and the horse hair mane was tangled and messy. The top decoration was missing from the helmet completely. There were some scratches on the surface, as well as evidence of use and wear. The metal and hair elements were both coated with dust and grime. There was also some tarnish on the gilded areas.
This Chinese Tang Dynasty Painted Pottery Figure of a Prancing Horse was damaged as a result of improper packing and packing materials during the shipping process. Upon examination, it was discovered that the breaks occurred at points on the legs where they had been previously repaired. It also became evident that there were other areas of previous poor restoration, notably around the face of the horse; these areas remained unharmed.