Einstein’s book and photograph came to us from a client looking to preserve and display them permanently. Fresh from a sale at Christie’s, Einstein at 50, a signed photograph, and The Meaning of Relativity: Authorial Presentation Copy, inscribed, were incredible finds, both historical and scarce. The result of their treatment is a beautiful shadowbox displaying them on either side of a digital reproduction of the title page of the book, creating a visual story.
Some of our favorite projects are ones rich in family history, like a violin our Furniture and Objects Department just finished working on this month. The violin, made by our client’s father, is a 1/4 size student instrument from Mittenwald, Germany, made between 1920 and 1930. The top is Sitka Spruce the neck ribs and back are of flamed maple.
Making sure that artworks live on for generations to come is among of our top priorities here at The Center. In many cases, achieving that means various departments have to play a part in ensuring that treatments go smoothly, and pieces are properly cared for throughout the conservation process. This is certainly true of a Japanese temple figure that recently came to the lab for treatment.
The Center’s conservators have become familiar with Lewitt’s work after conserving dozens of paintings, works on paper, and sculptural works by the artist. Our most recent interaction with the artist’s work was the treatment of his piece, “1 2 3 4 5 (Vertical),” a painted aluminum sculpture with a steel base.
This sunny coastal scene was painted by Michalis Economou, a Greek artist who first learned painting techniques under the tutelage of Konstantinos Volanakis, also known as the “father of Greek seascape painting.” Although living in Paris for nearly 5 years, Economou’s oeuvre consists mainly of serene, rustic landscapes.
A friend and long-time supporter of The Center recently brought in a piece to update its display. The artwork, which is composed of many individual artworks— plaques with various texts by Jenny Holzer— was to be rearranged and given new framing materials. The result is a work that is more cohesive and visually pleasing.
Many of us have things passed down from our family, maybe stuffed in boxes in the attic or basement, that are treasures to us. These treasures, though maybe not valuable in the eyes of the public (or art market), are priceless to us. “Everybody thinks their Great Aunt Margaret was a great artist,” said one of our clients. Yet sometimes, as that same client found out, it turns out to be true.
A painting by early twentieth-century Chicago artist Marie Blanke was significantly brightened after a good cleaning and a fresh coat of varnish. The original canvas, which was deformed and brittle from age, was flattened with a combination of heat, suction, humidity, and weight techniques, and then strengthened by being lined to a prepared canvas. The painting was put back into its original frame, the miters of which were stabilized.