Articles in the ‘CCA Christensen’ Category

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.

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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

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