Before and After Conservation Treatment

Discover the magic of art conservation! See the challenges and rewards of a successful treatment at a glance.

 

Miss Satterlee, by Charles Bird King, ca. 1830-1839

 

Condition: Varnish layer had discolored, and the surface was covered with dirt and grime.

Treatment: Discolored varnish, dirt, and grime were removed with appropriate solvents.

Charles Bird King, Miss Satterlee, ca. 1830-39

 

Herma, by Man Ray, 1975

 

Condition: Bronze surface was etched and disfigured by long-term contact with packing foam.

Treatment: Foam remnants were removed with appropriate solvents, and polishing pastes were used to remove etched areas and overall tarnish. A protective coating was applied to slow future corrosion.

Man Ray, Herma, 1975 

 

Four Portraits of a Man in Different Headgear, by William L. Cullen, 1905

 

Condition: Paper support was broken due to brittleness.

Treatment: The break was mended with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste. Losses along the break and the photograph’s edges were inpainted.

William L. Cullen, Four Portraits of a Man in Headgear1905

 

Christ Tempted by the Devil, by John Ritto Penniman, 1818 


Condition: Paint loss and active flaking exposed the bare wood support. There was a discolored varnish layer and surface grime.

Treatment: Areas of loss and flaking paint were infused with adhesive to prevent further loss. Discolored varnish and grime were removed with the appropriate solvents. Paint losses were filled and inpainted.

John Ritto Penniman, Christ Tempted by the Devil1818

 

Afternoon on Saco Bay, Coast of Maine, by William Frederick De Haas, 1874 

 

Condition (seen in raking light): The painting and support fabric were buckled and out of plane. The paint layer showed overall cracking patterns. There was a discolored varnish layer and embedded surface grime.

Treatment: The fabric was relaxed with moisture and weights and then stabilized. The varnish and surface grime were removed.

William Frederick De Haas, Afternoon on Saco Bay, Coast of Maine, 1874

 

Ko-rak-koo-kiss, a Towoccono Warrior, by John Mix Stanley, 1844 

 

Condition: Varnish layer had discolored, and the surface was covered with dirt and grime.

Treatment: Discolored varnish, dirt, and grime were removed with appropriate solvents.

John Mix Stanley, Ko-rak-koo-kiss, a Towoccono Warrior, 1844 


 

Purple Grackle, by  John James Audubon, not dated 

Condition (seen under raking light): Poor handling and storage caused tears, losses, and an overall buckling of the surface. 

Treatment: Tears were mended, and the paper was flattened. Losses were filled with inserts and inpainted with pastels.

John James Audubon, Purple Gracklenot dated

 

 

Castle Rock, Marblehead, by Alfred Thompson Bricher, 1878 

 

Condition (seen in raking light): Surface had severely curled cracking patterns and paint detaching from the canvas. There was a discolored varnish layer and embedded surface grime. 

Treatment: The cracking was relaxed with moisture and weights and then stabilized. The varnish and surface grime were removed.

Alfred Thompson Bricher, Castle Rock, Marblehead1878