Julian Baumgartner

Julian Baumgartner Follow

Baumgartner Fine Art Restoration - the oldest and now second generation fine art conservation studio in Chicago. Established in 1978. info@bfar.com

http://www.youtube.com/baumgartnerrestoration

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Hello Monday!  This past weekend I was in NY and of course dropped by a bunch of museums. While at the Whitney (the Warhol exhibit is stunning) I was struck by surface and of course as a conservator, the issues that arise with surface. All of the photos and videos you see here present unique surface issues; unconventional materials, finicky surfaces and sheens or unusual painting techniques all combine to make these paintings particularly challenging.  In order: Mary Corse’s white paintings made with reflective glass micro bead highway marking paint, Barnett Newman’s matte, solid color field surface with an abrasion, Rockwell Kent’s underpainting showing through in the sky and Andy Warhol’s painting with sparkling rocks attached to the surface .
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If you’re curious about the cleaning process and what that entails I have a new narrated video up. I discuss the process, pitfalls, and some other stuff... I also say “umm” a lot 😉 link in my profile.
If you’re curious about the retouching process. Go check out the narrated version of my most recent video. I ramble on about color mixing, ethical issues, technical issues relating to the retouching process. Click the link in the bio. Also, sorry about the way I sound- I have a cold 🤧
Good morning!  If you were interested in the painting I posted about on Friday head over to my YouTube channel to view a time-lapse video of the extensive retouching process. I’ve also uploaded a real-time video of the same retouching- the whole hour (great if you’re having trouble sleeping 😜) YouTube.com/baumgartnerrestoration .
#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Sometimes even the really hard projects are really fun. This portrait from the mid 1800s suffered a massive 8” long tear right through the sitter’s face. It was poorly patched and retouched with oil paint many many years ago. Covered with surface grime and varnish the painting didn’t look too bad but with the grime and varnish removed the extent of the retouching could be seen. This is a prime example of why oil paint is an inappropriate medium for conservation; it darkens as it oxidizes. This retouching was probably pretty accurate at one point but since its application it has changed and is now no longer acceptable.  With the patch and retouching removed and properly repaired the extent of the real damage is revealed and it’s clear that not only was the retouching off color but a bit too liberal. New retouching with archival and reversible pigments was applied and under UV it can be seen as dark purple and while extensive, it’s more conservative that the previous attempt. Finally, after varnish the sitter’s face is integrated and the painting is ready for another hundred years on the wall. And for all of you who are going to ask- yes I will be posting videos of the retouching process on my YouTube channel; one will be real-time and one will be sped up... look for those next week.  I’ll let you know 😉
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When old retouching, in this case executed in oil paint, cannot be removed chemically, a mechanical process is employed. Using a sharp scalpel and patience the paint can be scraped or chipped off. In this case you can see that the original paint is a different color than the retouching that covered it.
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I remove a lot of old conservation work that has been poorly executed, is excessive or just improper. Here I’m removing g the white lead used to adhere a large canvas patch to the back of a painting. With the canvas peeled back I can use solvents to soften the white lead and scalpel to remove it. You can see just how small the tear is and just how excessive the patch was. I’ll clean the residue from the canvas, perform a few other treatments and then mend the tear locally with a much less invasive technique.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Good morning!  I hope your Monday is looking as good as this painting will once it’s cleaned. There’s so much varnish on this piece that you can see the cracks that have formed in it.  That’s just too much varnish. And the result is that as UV light hits it over many years the varnish gets yellow and then brown. Luckily this painting is very stable and removing the varnish should be fairly simple. Also- sorry about the watermark but lately my content has been repeatedly stolen and passed off as someone else’s and used to turn a profit so unfortunately I’m going to have to start watermarking all my videos... bummer, I know and I’m sorry, it’s unsightly and I don’t like it but it is what it is.
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My client literally, LITERALLY cried when I made a test window for her. I’m not sure it gets any better than that.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
Two simple procedures had a profound effect on this painting. Removing the surface grime and old varnish significantly lightened the painting and revealed a full range of colors and intricate brushwork. A second treatment to reduce the cracking of the paint film enables the viewer to appreciate the depth of the painting and not just see the superficial qualities of the cracked paint.  And for those curious, no this painting was not lined to a new piece of canvas. A common misconception is that lining a painting Is the only way to remove the appearance of cracks in the paint film. While a lining can certainly achieve this it, is a very heavy handed approach when a lighter less invasive approach can do the same thing and I prefer to be conservative and alter the painting as little as possible.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar
There are many things that can harm and damage paintings but none so impactful as fire. Aside from actually burning the painting (which happens) the extreme heat and soot pose a significant risk. This painting was exposed to so much heat that the paint softened and bubbled up. That soft paint then bonded with the carbon-heavy soot and smoke. When the painting cooled the paint layer had been irrevocably changed. Those bubbles can only be removed by heating/melting and flattening the paint and even then there’s no guarantee but that soot is now forever part of that paint.  It’s not a total loss; before cleaning it was almost black but it will never be as it was before the fire.
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From dirty to clean, and back to dirty again. The client of this piece wanted the structural issues addressed but wanted to ensure that after conservation it matched its companion piece. So the solution was a tinted varnish. By adding dye to the synthetic resin varnish I am able to simulate the aging process of natural resin varnish and approximate the appearance of the companion piece. Of course I’d rather just conserve the companion piece but that want an option so this is the next best thing.
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#artrestoration #artconservation #restoration #conservation #art #fineart #painting #canvas #oilpaint #chicago #paintingconservation #arthistory #paintingrestoration #bfar