Before & After Stories

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.

While living in Paris, the owner of this frame visited Le Marche auc Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt on the weekends, and during one of those outings to Le Marche, found and fell in love with this beautiful framed mirror. The frame was brought back to the States, and after enjoying it for years, the owner decided to have the frame examined and conserved by our conservation staff. 

Before Treatment - note areas of damage circled in red.

Before Treatment - note areas of damage circled in red.

Before Treatment - Detail. Note areas of damage circled in red.

Before Treatment - Detail. Note areas of damage circled in red.

After Treatment

After Treatment


This property plot on wax drafting vellum arrived at The Center, severely distorted from years of being stored rolled. The property plot documented land once owned by the ancestors of the family, and our client wanted to properly display the piece to honor the history of their family. He was generous enough to share the story with us:
 
"The property plots are the estate of my wife's paternal grandfather located in the north-eastern corner of Poland in Augustow County. The maps are from 1937. In September 1939 the land was seized during the Soviet invasion of Poland at the start of WWII. There were 3 parcels of land that include farmland, orchards, forests and lakes. My father-in-law was 18 years old when his dad, a wealthy land owner and high-ranking military officer was arrested. My father-in-law fled Poland and ended up in England, joined the Polish Army in exile in England and fought in WWII. He vowed never to go back to Poland until the communists were out of power. My wife took her dad back to Poland, in 1990, after the Iron Curtain fell in in Poland in 1989 and they traveled to the family property even though they no longer owned it because it now was in control of the government. There my father-in-law met old friends who had kept various family documents since WWII and gave them back to him. My wife has had the documents for 20 plus years and they have been kept rolled up in a tube container, stored in a drawer in [our] china cabinet and probably only [have been] looked at about 2-4 times since 1990. I decided to have the property plots restored and framed as my gift to my wife to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this past February."
 

Before Treatment

Before Treatment

After Treatment and Custom Framing with archival materials

After Treatment and Custom Framing with archival materials

Part of a fire claim, the color's of this painting were severely muted under the heavy layer of soot residue on the surface. With painstaking cleaning, the soot was removed from the surface, revealing the vivid, deep colors beneath. 

Before Treatment

Before Treatment

During Treatment - The colors begin to show from behind the sooty surface.

During Treatment - The colors begin to show from behind the sooty surface.

After Treatment

After Treatment

The following framed paintings came to The Center as part of a fire claim, exhibiting other condition issues such as tears and punctures that needed to be addressed in order to properly clean the paintings and frames of soot residue. The results were wonderful, and the client is pleased that their treasured items have been returned to their former beauty.

Before Treatment - Note the discolored, yellowed surface.

Before Treatment - Note the discolored, yellowed surface.

During Treatment - Note the cleaning line at the center of the painting.  Associate Paintings Conservator Rob Datum

During Treatment - Note the cleaning line at the center of the painting.  Associate Paintings Conservator Rob Datum

After Treatment and Framing

After Treatment and Framing

Before Treatment - Note the punctures, tears and canvas loss at the upper right, circled in red.

Before Treatment - Note the punctures, tears and canvas loss at the upper right, circled in red.

Before Treatment - Detail of punctures, tears and canvas loss.

Before Treatment - Detail of punctures, tears and canvas loss.

After Treatment and Framing

After Treatment and Framing

Before Treatment - Note the large, complex tear at the lower center, circled in red.

Before Treatment - Note the large, complex tear at the lower center, circled in red.

During Treatment - The complex tear is realigned and mended.

During Treatment - The complex tear is realigned and mended.

After Treatment and Framing

After Treatment and Framing

Lastly, these portraits are of ancestors from the owner's family, possibly from the mid to late 18th century. They were passed down from generation to generation, and have been with the current family for 15-20 years. These images depict the portraits mid-treatment, and show the amazing transformation as it unfolds!

Justin Gilman

The business end of Twin. In charge of landing interesting new projects, making clients happy, and coffee. A maker of beautiful music and master of oral sound effects. A secret Jim Henson nerd. Will always find ways of working smarter. Will never participate in karaoke.

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