Mural of Pioneers by Minerva Teichert

I went with the Head of Preservation of the LDS Church Historical Dept today to see a pair of paintings by Minerva Teichert in Montpelier Idaho. What beautiful country and gorgeous weather. The paintings I examined are really nice. This scene of pioneers is a theme often painted by famous LDS artist Minerva Teichert. This wonderful painting was done about 1930 and is an oil on canvas glued to the wall and is about 9′ x 9′. The mural will be removed in order for seismic work to be done in the building. While the work in the building will be going on, we will clean and prepare the painting. After we do our art conservation treatments, then we’ll reinstall them. I was told the two paintings are worth more than the entire building and land! Here are the photos of the paintings I examined.

The art conservation work will be performed at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories, Scott M. Haskins, in Santa Barbara, CA.

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Cleaning an Ancestor’s Oil Painting Portrait – Short, Interesting Time Lapse Video

There seems to be a plethora of vintage family ancestor oil painting portraits in the lab right now. So, I thought you would enjoy seeing a short time lapse video of the cleaning process. To make this video I tried a new app for my iPad that was fun… and it worked! Here’s the video:

Some people think that cleaning a painting is a per square inch type of estimating and that I should be able to do it over the phone. But to clean an old oil painting safely, we need to do solubility tests with each of the solvents we might use to make sure they dissolve the varnish without dissolving the original paint! Sometimes we use a head-mounted magnifier to get a closer look and sometimes we use a stereobinocular microscope! Varnish qualities vary widely and just when you think it looks “normal” you find that the varnish in question won’t come off with the usual stand bys.

I thought this painting would take about $300 in time and materials to clean but instead, it resisted and took about $600.00 in time and materials to clean completely and safely (no adverse affects on the original paint). So, as you can see, the cleaning process (as are some of the other art conservation treatments) requires, sometimes, a “discovery process.” Most of the time, however, we nail the estimate up front but some of you may be happy to know that the “unknown factor” happens to me too when I work on my artwork.

The “take away” for you from this article is a better knowledge of the estimating and discovery process when cleaning a painting. That may help you to have a better conversation when you talk to an art conservator.

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To see an article on lining and framing a painting, CLICK HERE

Art conservation questions? Call Scott M. Haskins 8905 564 3438

Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate 805 895 5121

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Welcoming the Arrival of Immigrants by Carl Christian Anton Christensen

By Eleanor Nelson, Guest Blogger

Carl Christian Anton Christensen (1831-1912) was born in Copenhagen and joined the LDS church in 1850. After missions in Norway, he eventually settled in America, travelling to Utah with his wife as part of a Danish handcart company. He is beloved for his paintings illustrating the history and culture of the LDS church, and has been described as having done “more than any other person to capture the images of the history of the Mormon migration to Utah and the life lived there.”

His many accomplishments included the paintings in the St George Temple and the Creation Room of the Manti Temple. His best known work is the Mormon Panorama: a group of paintings, 7ft high and 13ft wide, that were sewn together at the ends and scrolled on spools to create a moving picture of the history of the church. Christensen travelled with this piece around Utah, Idaho and Wyoming, using it as a helpful teaching device for accompanying presentations.

This wonderful painting, Welcoming Arriving Immigrants, shows immigrants arriving in Zion. It conveys the happy and welcoming spirit that Christensen felt about being part of God’s people. It was so well thought of that he made at least two other copies of the painting, one of which hangs in the Museum of History and Art of the LDS Church.

The painting was cleaned as part of its art restoration treatments in 1981 and was in reasonably good condition. Light cracking over most of the surface was present but not causing any problems. It was, however, covered with a very discolored layer of varnish. When varnish yellows over time, a general color shift occurs throughout the painting: blues become greens; purples become browns. Contrast is usually reduced between the figures in the composition and so the painting takes on an overall flatter appearance.

Before the painting was cleaned, solubility tests were performed to check the sensitivity of the original colors to the solvents that might be used for dissolving the varnish. These are standard operating procedures for painting conservation. It is imperative when cleaning varnish off a painting that the original colors are not affected. Once the testing was completed, a custom mixture of solvent was formulated and the discolored varnish was removed, square inch by square inch with Q-tips and magnifying lenses.

During the removal process, it was quickly realized that there was a second layer of varnish underneath the first. This was also discolored, but much harder than the top layer, and was not removed during the cleaning process, partly due to budgetary constraints. Also, the dramatic improvement achieved by the removal of the first layer satisfied the client so no further work was done. This decision had no negative influence for the preservation of the painting. It received several layers of synthetic varnish, used in art conservation because it is easy to remove far into the future and does not yellow. Any time in the future a follow-up cleaning can be performed.

This painting is on exhibit in the conference room of the International Pioneer Museum in Salt Lake City.

 

Tips about what you can do at home to take care of your artwork and collectibles can be discovered in Scott M. Haskins’ book, How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster. Click Here for immediate download.

 Questions about art and antique appraisals? Call Richard at (805) 895-5121

Questions about working with an insurance art and contents claim? Call us toll free at 888-704-7757

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Scott M. Haskins, Author, Art Conservator Speaks to Daughters of Utah Pioneers Orem, UT Camp at Annual Meeting – 3 good tips!

DUP members throughout the Utah Valley were invited to the annual meeting of the Orem Camp on October 22, 2012 to hear Scott M. Haskins, Painting Conservator give his talk that he gave to the DUP national meeting directors last Spring. While many interesting details about his art restoration projects for DUP were the same, his lively and fun discussion was fresh and direct to the Orem Daughters.

 Early Americana Art

Early Pioneer Art about 1843

Scott has been doing painting restoration for the International Pioneer Museum in SLC since 1980 and the examples of his projects were well known and interesting: Several portraits of Brigham Young showed different looks artists depicted, important pioneer paintings by CCA Christiansen were seen and the inside scoop on other well know paintings made the 45 minute presentation very interesting.  Tell others about this website at http://www.pioneerartrestoration.com that  has articles, fun stories and videos about the work done over the years. During his talk, he also spoke about other interesting Pioneer Art projects that he was working on such as the murals in the Salt Lake LDS Temple and the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.

Very interesting was his presentation and instructions about what the conference attendees could do themselves at home or in their small historical museums to protect, preserve and save artifacts, family history, collectibles, vintage photos, memorabilia, old cherished books and treasure documents. His book, How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster gives easy to understand instructions and examples. Some of his suggestions to be aware of were:

  1. Use an anchor wax to hold down collectibles in case of earthquakes, storms, dogs with big tails and grandkids! He brought a product called Museum Wax which attendees bought.
  2. Think about where you put your storage boxes with historic items so that water cannot get to them (basements with water heaters, garages on the floor etc).
  3. Don’t use magnetic photo albums. How do you get photos out of magnetic photo albums? Floss!

For a copy of his book and Museum Wax go to the “Fundraiser” on this website’s front page. Early America Art

About 75 Daughters attended the meeting and it appears that the Springville Camp may be thinking about doing a joint event with the Springville Art Museum sometime in the future with Mr. Haskins as the speaker and who may put on a workshop.

You can tell that Scott Haskins, the art restoration expert that began working with the Daughters back in 1980, is passionate about working with DUP if you’ve seen his videos. Even if he can’t be a member of DUP (his mother’s family helped settle Beaver, UT and his great grandmother, who died when he was 14 and he knew well, was the 1st child through “Hole in the Rock”!) Scott is anxious to do everything within his professional abilities to help our organization.

 

Sign up for updates to this blog now! Its at the top of the side bar. There is a lot going on. Scott promises to keep it entertaining and interesting!

More info on Scott’s work with clients in Utah:http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/salt-lake-city-painting-restoration-art-restoration-art-conservation-painting-conservation-repair-art-slc-utah/

More info on FACL, Inc’s work with clients in Las Vegas:http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/art-painting-conservationrestoration-las-vegas/

Scott’s blog about art conservation on vintage Mormon Art, go to http://www.mormonartconservation.org

Art restoration/conservation questions? Call Scott Haskins at 805 570 4140

Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

 Be sure to tell others about this website and to sign up!

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DUP Orem, UT Camp to Host Scott M. Haskins as Speaker

The Orem, Utah Camp of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers announces that at their annual meeting on October 20, 2012, Scott M. Haskins, author of How To Save Your Stuff From A Disaster and professional art conservator will be speaking. He will be giving us tips and how-to instructions for collection care at home and for DUP items.

The meeting will be held, Monday, October 22, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the LDS Church–670 E 800 N, in Orem. For more information call Lynne Lynn at 801 224 2106

All DUP camps in the Utah Valley and Salt Lake Valley are invited to attend. Mr. Haskins spoke at the DUP National Annual Director’s meeting in May and was such a big hit, that we are pleased to announce he has accepted to speak to our local group.

His presentation includes a review of the very interesting restoration and conservation work he has done on some of DUP’s most valuable paintings since he began working with our collection since 1980. 

For a tour of his conservation laboratory, click here

Crossing the Platte River from the DUP Colletion

Crossing the Platte river by Dan Weggeland in the SLC DUP Collection

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Cleaning of the mural, “Crossing the Platte River – Pioneers of 1847″

In the main meeting room of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers in Salt Lake City, behind the pulpit is a large painting entitled Pioneers of 1847 Crossing the Platte River by famous pioneer artist Dan Weggeland. Not long ago, Nancy B. Eggbert generously donated the budget to clean and varnish this painting, which was VERY DIRTY! See this short video of the cleaning process!

Dan Weggeland did a lot of painting during his years and the DUP has quite a few of his artworks.

If you have questions about art restoration, please call Scott Haskins 805 564 3438 or email at faclartdoc@gmail.com

Did you like this cleaning video? Please leave a comment below.

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Art Conservation Painting Restoration Expert Scott M. Haskins at DUP in SLC – Jan 30th – Feb 2nd

Collection preservation and art restoration have always been part of the mission statement of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Certainly the hopes and dreams of keeping the memory alive of these brave ancestors requires preserving their physical items for future generations: their collectibles, artifacts, heirlooms, books and writings, photography, memorabilia and artwork.

You can tell that Scott Haskins, the art restoration expert that began working with the Daughters back in 1980, is passionate about working with us if you’ve seen his videos. Even if he can’t be a member of DUP (his mother’s family helped settle Beaver, UT and his great grandmother, who died when he was 14 and he knew well, was the 1st child through “Hole in the Rock”!) Scott is anxious to do everything within his professional abilities to help our organization. Its been a few months in the planning, but during the week of Jan 30th to Feb 2nd, we were able to take advantage of Scott being in SLC to work on the restoration of the Salt Lake LDS Temple murals and we set up an “painting restoration workshop” in our conference room.

Cleaning a painting in the conference room

Cleaning a painting in the conference room

 

Scott accomplished several important things while he was with us: He cleaned the very dirty painting that hangs behind the speakers in the conference room, “Pioneers of 1857 Crossing the Platte River” painted in 1869 by famous pioneer artist Dan Weggelend. Another blog post tells about this work and there’s even a video showing a time lapse of the cleaning. He also re-cleaned a full length portrait painting of Brigham Young from about 1843 that he worked on back in about 1982 but that needed some fresh varnish.

While with us, he also made a proposal to help the DUP raise money for future restorations… which was enthusiastically accepted! Scott was also asked, and he accepted to be the featured speaker at the national meeting in June, at no cost, to report in on the art conservation work being done at the Daughters and to kick off the fund raising ideas.

All in all, it was a very productive visit.

During the week in SLC, Scott had the engine at FACL (his conservation company) running on all cylinders: Mural work at the Salt Lake temple for the LDS Church, large paintings to be cleaned on site at the Pioneer Memorial Museum in SLC, a Post War Expressionist Abstract painting by Jay De Feo examination and reports at Utah State University for the Whitney Museum of American Art in NY, inspecting a “pile” of newly discovered historic paintings plus meeting with private clients in Las Vegas along the way

Sign up for updates to this blog now! Its at the top of the side bar. There is a lot going on. Scott promises to keep it entertaining and interesting!

More info on Scott’s work with clients in Utah:http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/salt-lake-city-painting-restoration-art-restoration-art-conservation-painting-conservation-repair-art-slc-utah/

More info on FACL, Inc’s work with clients in Las Vegas:http://www.fineartconservationlab.com/art-painting-conservationrestoration-las-vegas/

Scott’s blog about art conservation on vintage Mormon Art, go to http://www.mormonartconservation.org

Art restoration/conservation questions? Call Scott Haskins at 805 570 4140

Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121

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