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.
At The Center, we treat items of great worth, historical artistic significance and shared cultural value. But perhaps some the most rewarding work we do is in preserving family heirlooms. These items very greatly from paintings to furniture and can be extremely valuable or purely sentimental, but all hold stories with meaning to the owners. We feel honored to assist families with preserving these items for future generations, and allowing their stories to carry on, and would like to share a recent story from one of our clients.
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.
In the spirit of Antiques Roadshow, we’re offering personal frame consultations with our experts on Wednesday, May 11th from 3-7pm. Bring a piece from your collection at any time during the event!
Please remember that it is a conflict of interest for the conservators to give appraisals.
Creativity with new methodology – literally thinking “outside the box”- is often required when housing artwork to conservation standards. Each piece of art is unique, and therefore needs housing that is suitable and customized to fit the needs of that individual work. We recently worked with a painting, treated here by our conservation staff, that required the unique framing options our conservation framing department can offer.
As historic objects age, natural degradation processes may weaken what were once strong supports and stable points of attachments. As this happens, the necessity of a proper mount increases. Whether the purpose is stabilization, prevention, or display, mounts are an often overlooked yet important part of the conservation process, and warrant consideration as a preventative approach to long-term preservation.
Conservators of art on paper collaborate closely with conservation framers to be certain that all protective measures required are used while housing each work. Works of art on paper are varied and frequently complex, often depending upon the paper quality or type, or the media used in the art making process.
This Omer calendar scroll is hand-painted and calligraphied on a continuous strip of goatskin vellum, rolled on a pair of wooden spools. Over time the vellum became heavily buckled and fragile, making it impossible to unroll more than twelve inches at a time. The challenge was to provide an archival mount which would preserve and protect the fragile manuscript, and also allow the owner to scroll through it at will.
Recently I had the pleasure of viewing and repairing a beautiful antique Persian Quran. Each delicate page was beautifully hand-written, and the traditional Islamic leather cover with foredge flap was decorated with intricately painted flowers and vines. The multi-colored floral panels combined with the vibrant red borders make for a bold, yet delicately styled book. Several pages at the front and rear of the textbook were loose, and the interior and exterior hinges required some repair. In keeping with the client’s priority that the least invasive approach be taken, the loose pages and hinges were secured using Japanese tissue. The tissue used for the outer hinges was tinted to make the repair as inconspicuous as possible. The minimally invasive repairs succeeded in strengthening the original pieces of this lovely book so that it may be carefully handled without further damage to either the text block or the covers. A particularly distinctive feature of the traditional Islamic style of binding is that the foredge flap rests under the front cover, not over it.
When owners and caretakers of artwork want to properly house their treasured works, their collection may pass through The Center’s Custom Framing Department. Works on canvas, metal, wood, plastic and everything in-between are treated at The Chicago Conservation Center. Each work is individually assessed in order to determine the most appropriate type of housing, based upon the medium, the stability of the piece, the style and the client’s display concerns. A wide variety of housing options are available: traditional framing, custom mounts, and vitrines are the most common.