For most people, the top drawers of their bedroom dressers are reserved for mismatched socks, so it was a delightful surprise for Rick Eisenstein to find a 97-year-old photograph rolled up in his father's old dresser drawer. "When he was in the hospital, I was looking for some clothes to take to him and came across this rolled up picture," Rick explained. "His parents were very important to him--with that being said, he was not a very sentimental person and kept very few things from his younger days." This photograph, however was special: his father kept it for nearly 60 years. Rick made a decision to bring the picture to The Conservation Center for examination and conservation.
“This is an important piece of our family history,” commented Cindy Egoroff Alexander while discussing a portrait of her grandfather, Emil Egoroff. Cindy and her family recently entrusted The Conservation Center to treat and reframe a black and white photograph of Emil. “We know very little of our grandfather’s life in Russia,” she explained, emphasizing how precious the few details they uncovered were to understanding and remembering her family’s past. Cindy graciously shared the history passed down through the family with our team, shedding light on the story behind this handsome portrait.
One of the misconceptions concerning work performed at an art treatment facility such as The Conservation Center is that an object or a piece of art must have significant value on the market to qualify for professional care. This is simply not the case. While many of our clients have high-end pieces that belong to large-scale collections and museums, our conservators also specialize in treating family antiques and heirlooms that have sentimental value.
Family heirlooms connect generations in a deep, personal way. From the handed down bible and grandmother’s knitted quilt, to a late 1800s baptismal gown and photos of a relative going off to war—anyone who has found or kept historic pieces in the family knows how moving they can be. These treasured items, passed down through the decades, provide insight into the lives of our ancestors and a richer understanding of our family's history.
There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. And while spotless living spaces make a house a home, many of us unfortunately have to use harsh chemicals and solvents to achieve that goal. The application of products found under the kitchen sink can lead to chemical reactions on the surface of art objects that can prove to be quite serious, resulting in detrimental losses that are usually so much greater than the reward of a home cleaning approach. When it comes to caring for your art and antiques while freshening up around the house, we strongly advise our readers to adhere to the “DDIY” rule—Don’t Do it Yourself—and leave the job to professional art conservators.
This year’s cool Chicago summer months flew by fast, but The Conservation Center has been brimming with activities. Our warehouse currently has a record-breaking 7,000 pieces currently in storage, waiting to be conserved--keeping our expert conservators challenged by exciting new projects that cross many disciplines. Our "A Day in the Life" photo essay in January allowed readers a behind-the-scenes peek into The Conservation Center team at work. We’ve once again compiled a series of candid images, capturing a slice of daily life in our work space.
The art world abuzz as galleries from around the world prepare to descend upon Chicago this September for the third annual International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art—or EXPO Chicago as it’s informally known. The Conservation Center is thrilled to announce its participation once again as the art fair’s official conservators and framers.
Start spreading the news: The Conservation Center is truly excited to announce a remarkable partnership with Crozier Fine Arts—New York's foremost fine and decorative arts storage and logistics company. Together, we have launched the Art Conservation Shuttle, fully connecting The Center's interdisciplinary conservators in one the nation's largest art conservation labs to our friends and growing client base on the East Coast. New York's art community can now enjoy museum-quality, art conservation services with an efficient turnaround timetable at competitive costs.
On any given day, taking a walk through The Conservation Center’s 25,000 square foot facilities, with a 10,000 square foot storage space, is always quite an experience—because you’ll never know what kind of artworks and cultural objects you might encounter. Since our dedicated staff members are all art enthusiasts here at The Center, we love geeking out at the amazing items we work on every day. This spring, we have had the pleasure of either conserving or preserving some unexpected pieces. We’ve compiled a series of visual highlights documenting what makes The Conservation Center such a delightful place to work.
This holiday season, treat your loved ones to the gift of art conservation and help them preserve treasured artworks, big or small. The Conservation Center is pleased to offer gift certificates in any denomination of your choice. And, a gift for you too: we're offering free examinations for items dropped off on select days in November and December.