As a Chicago-based company, it’s always a treat when pieces come to us with a bit of local art history. Recently, we had the opportunity to restore a large painting by James Allen St. John, a Chicago artist who is most commonly known for his illustrations of the popular Edgar Rice Burroughs "Tarzan" series.
Usually in our monthly newsletter, we often highlight the extraordinary art and heirloom pieces that The Conservation Center has cared for. And while we couldn’t fulfill the company’s mission without our expert conservators, they are in fact only a part of our whole team. Equally important—and often billed as the “gears and the grease” that keep the company running—to what we do here is The Conservation Center’s expert Shipping and Installation team: the skilled professionals whom we trust with valuable pieces, who spend most days out in the field with their boots on the ground, and who are instrumental in cultivating on-site relationships with our clients.
The Conservation Center has always been a progressive organization—dedicated not only to preserving art and heirloom collections from the past (and in many cases, the contemporary), but also to embracing the future of a highly specialized conservation business. Now we're looking ahead to the next phase in the company's evolution: The Center is pleased to announce a major expansion within our building, two years after our relocation from River North to the West Town neighborhood in Chicago.
Blue skies and warmer temperatures had giddy Midwesterners basking in sunshine lately after one of the cruelest winters in recent memory. But spring has also brought stormy weather to the Chicago area, and mother nature unleashed a different kind of misery on local residents: flooding. Many Midwestern cities, including Chicago, have been on guard for excess water that lead to issues such as clogged storm drains. The Conservation Center's Disaster Response team is once again on the ground, reacting to many emergency incidents that have affected personal collections. On a recent triage, more than 15 Conservation Center staff members collaborated to save hundreds of family heirlooms from water damage.
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.
Sean Roach, TCC's Associate Art Handler, recounts his expedition to South Dakota to rescue four paintings from impending flood waters.
The Farnsworth House located in Plano, Illinois experienced a devastating flood in 2008. The Conservation Center was contacted and our team was sent to safely remove the wardrobe during restoration of the house. It remained secure in our fine art storage facility until conservation treatment was approved.
In the field of art conservation the terms archival, inert, stable, safe, etc. refer to materials or processing methods that are expected to allow items to be stored for extended periods of time without loss of quality. These materials should not degrade over time and should not contain volatile materials that will be emitted from the material, or ‘off-gas.’ Both degradation products and off-gassing materials can do serious damage to some art materials. Metal, paper, and shells are examples of sensitive materials that can be damaged irreversibly from proximity to ‘unsafe’ materials.