This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of The Civil War. Like any thread in the fabric of our cultural heritage, this point in our collective memory was captured countless times by the artist’s eye. With photography still in its infancy, fine art and literature still serve as major artifacts for this defining time period in American history. While many of the artist’s names have been lost over the years, the importance of their work stands as a testament to this era. One of these remarkable works is a painting titled Steamboat U.S.S. Switzerland on River (artist and date unknown), belonging to our friends at The University Museum at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale, Illinois. The museum recently engaged The Conservation Center to preserve this piece of Americana, and also taking the opportunity to educate its audience in the importance of art conservation.
When wandering a flea or antique market, one just never knows what treasures there are to be found. From terrific steals to relics from a past long forgotten, there is usually something to excite the fancy of just about anyone. During one of his frequent visits to the Grayslake Antiques market, The Conservation Center’s client Robert Le Clerq had one such awe-inspiring moment that brought him back into his younger days. He came upon an old, carved wooden sculpture that immediately reminded him of nuns of the order of the Sacred Heart. Though this probably would not be significant to most, Mr. Le Clerq has fond recollections of Barat College. From serving mass as an alter boy, to watching his older sister graduate, to even dating a few of the girls who attended the private Catholic school, Sacred Heart had played a significant role in Mr. Le Clerq’s younger days.
The weather's heating up, but there are no signs of slowing down at The Conservation Center. From intricate conservation projects to private tours, our staff is hard at work in West Town. To celebrate the new season, we are bringing back our popular "A Day in the Life" photo series. With our camera in hand, we wandered around the lab and captured some amazing images to share with you.